A smart card, also known as a chip card or an integrated circuit card (ICC), is any card that contains an integrated circuit. The most common types of smart cards include SIM cards for mobile phones, and credit and debit cards that are used to make payments.
Features of a smart card
Smart cards are a very important technological development as they provide enhanced security authentication, as well as enabling the entire Chip and PIN process to function properly. Smart cards, like any other card, are made out of plastic which contains a small Chip which is embedded into it. The main function of the Chip is to contain information in order to assist payment transactions (credit and debit cards) or allow mobile phones to work (SIM cards), among others.
The most popular use of smart cards is in the banking industry. All credit and debits cards – except American Express – employ the use of smart cards, embedding a chip into the plastic that enables them to provide secure and safe payment transactions. The Chip contains information in regards to bank account, personal details as well as balance of the account holder. Additionally, the Chip and PIN process allows only card holders to be able to utilize the card for making payments at POS terminals or for withdrawing cash at ATM machines.
Smart cards have become widely used for different purposes as they are a compact and efficient medium of carrying important information. From driving licenses to bank cards, smart cards have entered almost every industry proving to be an invaluable invention and development.