A Smart Card is a plastic card the size of a credit card with an integrated circuit built into it. Smart cards typically hold 2,000 to 8,000 electronic bytes of data (the equivalent of several pages of data). Those bytes can be electronically coded. Magnetic-stripe cards, such as those issued by banks and credit card companies, lack the security of microchips but remain inexpensive due to their status as a single-purpose card.
The card is made of plastic, generally PVC, (Polyvinyl chloride) but sometimes ABS(Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene).
A contact smart card must be inserted into a smart card reader with a direct connection to a conductive contact plate on the surface of the card (typically gold plated). Transmission of commands, data, and card status takes place over these physical contact points. Contact smart cards have a contact area, comprised of several gold-plated contact pads, that is about 1cm square. When inserted into a reader , the chip makes contact with electrical connectors that can read information from the chip and write information back. Example: Contact smart cards
Contactless smart cards A contactless card requires only close proximity to a reader. Both the reader and the card have antennae, and the two communicate using radio frequencies (RF) over this contactless link. Most contactless cards also derive power for the internal chip from this electromagnetic signal. Example: Octopus card The Octopus card is a rechargeable contactless stored value smart card used to transfer electrical payments in online or offline systems in Hong Kong
A dual-interface card has a single chip with both contact and contactless interfaces. With dual-interface cards, it is possible to access the same chip using either a contact or contactless interface with a very high level of security.
Microprocessor cards (generally referred to as "chip cards" ) offer greater memory storage and security of data than a traditional magnetic stripe card. Their chips may also be called as microprocessors with internal memory
BlackBerry Smart Card Reader-The BlackBerry® Smart Card Reader1 is a lightweight, wearable reader that enables controlled access to BlackBerry® smartphones using Bluetooth® technology and advanced AES-256 encryption.
Cards can be plugged into a reader, commonly referred to as a card terminal, or they can operate using radio frequencies (RF).
When the smart card and the card reader come into contact, each identifies itself to the other by sending and receiving information. If the messages exchanged do not match, no further processing takes place. So, unlike ordinary bank cards, smart cards can defend themselves against unauthorized users and uses in innovative security measures.
The reader provides a path for your application to send and receive commands from the card. There are many types of readers available, such as serial, PCCard, and standard keyboard models. Unfortunately, Smart card readers are available that interface to RS232 serial ports, USB ports, PCMCIA slots.
ISO 7816 is the internationally accepted standard for smart cards. ISO 7816 is a family of standards primarily dealing with aspects of smart card interoperability regarding communication characteristics, physical properties, and application identifiers of the implanted chip and data.
Data stored in the smart card's microchip can be accessed only through the chip operating system (COS), providing a high level of data security. This security takes the form of passwords allowing a user to access parts of the IC chip's memory or encryption/decryption measures which translate the bytes stored in memory into useful information.
Smart cards designed for specific applications may run proprietary operating systems. Smart cards designed with the capability to run multiple applications usually run MULTOS or Java Card .
Each manufacturer provides a different protocol for communication with the reader.
First you have to communicate with the reader.
Second, the reader communicates with the card, acting as the intermediary before sending the data to the card.
Third, communication with a smart card is based on the APDU format. The card will process the data and return it to the reader, which will then return the data to its originating source.
card reader must support the appropriate protocol such as the asynchronous T=0, T=1 or synchronous I2C protocols.
APDU transmission via contactless interface, defined in ISO/IEC 14443-4 APDU Block-level transmission protocol, defined in ISO/IEC 7816-3 T=1 Byte-level transmission protocol, defined in ISO/IEC 7816-3 T=0 Description Name