Smart Card applications and personalization

Smart card technologies are well established in the financial, medical, and governmental sector to name a few. Smart card technology consists of a micro-controller on a card. Several main components need to be established in order to successfully deploy a smart card framework. The main components include:

  1. Smart Card Application (An application written and programmed within the micro-controller to perform the required tasks)
  2. Smart Card Personalization (Loading data specific information onto the issued smart card that the application needs for example bio-metric data or account number)
  3. An acquiring infrastructure that include point-of-service devices to power and interact with the smart card. The device is also programmed to interact with a back-end system to complete the application cycle.
  4. A back-end application that is usually used to integrate the whole process together.
  5. A communication infrastructure which usually includes a switch and servers.
  6. A Smart Card personalization system. Depending on the process and outsourcing strategies, this could include card printers, personalization modules, Hardware Security Modules (HSMs).

Smart Card technologies are well established in the financial markets. The issuance of more secure credit and debit cards to clients has been widely adapted for many years. This technology is also emerging in the governmental sector in e-passport applications as well as a form of identification mechanism that could securely store a person’s driving licence, ID, car registration and other identification information including bio-metric data.