Documentation On Smart Card Information Technology Essay

This paper explains what SMART CARD is and how SMART CARD works. You will also get information of the behind picture of the working smart card and this paper also explains smart card with help of some examples and benefits of smart card.

Plastic cards are a part of the way of life in most industrialized countries . We use them to identify ourselves, to travel, to gain access to buildings, to obtain cash from our bank, and to pay goods and services. We are regularly offered new types of cards; many people collect every card and they are offered, while others feel that their lives are already excessively controlled by anonymous pieces of plastic.

Some of today’s applications, such as health cards, retail loyalty, and portable data collection, require more data to be stored on the card than a magnetic stripe card can comfortably handle. Many of these cards are in fact memory cards rather than microprocessor cards; both types are often referred to as SMART CARD.

What is Smart Card:

A smart card resembles a credit card size and shape, with an embedded  microchip  that can be loaded with data, used for telephone calling, electronic cash payments, and other applications, and then periodically refreshed for additional use.

A Smart card is a portable devices that contains some non-volatile memory and a microprocessor. The microprocessor is under a gold contact pad on one side of the card.

This card contains some kind of an encrypted key that is compared to a secret key contained on the user’s processor.

Origins and Developments:

In 1970 a Japanese inventor, Kunitaka Arimura, filed the first patent for what we would now call a SMART CARD. His patent was restricted to Japan and to the technical aspects of the invention. Japanese cards manufactured under an Arimura license.

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Dr. Kunitaka Arimura of Japan filed the first and only patent on the smart card concept.


Roland Moreno of France filed the original patent for the IC card, later dubbed the “smart card”.


Three commercial manufacturers, Bull CP8, SGS Thomson, and Schlumberger began developing the IC card.


Motorola developed the first secure single chip microcontroller for use in French banking.


Field testing of serial memory phone cards took place in France – the world’s first major IC card test.


Field trials of ATM bank cards with chips were successfully conducted.


14,000 cards equipped with the Bull CP8 were distributed to clients of the Bank of Virginia and the Maryland


First large-scale smart card application implemented in the United States with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nationwide Peanut Marketing Card.


First Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) smart card project launched for the Wyoming Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).


A nationwide prepaid (electronic purse) card project (DANMONT) was started in Denmark.


Field test of multi-function smart card applications in Rennes, France, where the Telecarte function (for public phones) was enabled in a Smart Bank Card.


Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) published joint specifications for global microchip-based bank cards (smart cards).


Over 3 million digital mobile phone subscribers worldwide begin initiating and billing calls with smart cards.


Over 1.5 million VISACash stored value cards were issued at the Atlanta Olympics.


Microsoft announced its new Windows smart card operating system. France began piloting a smart health card for its 50 million citizens.

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The Smart Access Common ID Card program established a contract vehicle for use by all Federal agencies

How does it works:

Smart cards are portable data cards that must communicate with another device to gain access to a display device or a network. 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.

What is in the Card:

Typical Configurations:

256 bytes to 4KB RAM.

8KB to 32KB ROM.


Crypto-coprocessors (implementing 3DES, RSA etc., in hardware) are optional.

8-bit to 16-bit CPU. 8051 based designs are common.

Current Applications:


Mobile Communications

Banking & Retail

Electronic Purse

Health Care

ID Verification and Access Control

Advantages of Smart Cards:

Barriers to Acceptance of Smart Cards:

Present lack of infrastructure to support the smart card, particularly in the U.S., necessitating retrofitting of equipment such as vending machines, ATMs, and telephones.

Proprietary nature of the Chip Operating System. The consumer must be technically knowledgeable to select the most appropriate card for the target application.

Relatively higher cost of smart cards as compared to magnetic stripe cards. (The difference in initial costs between the two technologies, however, decreases significantly when the differences in expected life span and capabilities- particularly in terms of supporting multiple applications and thus affording cost sharing among application providers- are taken into account).

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Lack of standards to ensure interoperability among varying smart card programs.

Unresolved legal and policy issues related to privacy and confidentiality or consumer protection laws.

Examples of Smart Card:


The self-containment of smart card makes it resistant to attack as it does not need to depend upon potentially vulnerable external resources.

Because of this characteristic, smart cards are often used in different applications, which require strong security protection and authentication. Smart card technology is emerging, applications are everywhere.

Smart cards enhance service and security

Perfect security does not exist, even not for smart cards

Risk analysis is essential


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