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3. Contact Smart Card

How does it work?

  • Smart card or chip card, or integrated circuit card (ICC) = any pocket-sized card with embedded integrated circuits.
  • Contact smart cards have a contact area of approximately 1 square centimetre (0.16 sq in), comprising several gold-plated contact pads. These pads provide electrical connectivity when inserted into a reader, which is used as a communications medium between the smart card and a host (e.g., a computer, a point of sale terminal) or a mobile telephone.
  • Cards do not contain batteries; power is supplied by the card reader. You can find such a chip in your SIM card or a typical credit card.
  • it is may be used as all-in-one card that can be used for access control and payment method at school, financial transaction as normal bank cards, and as ISIC Card. 


  • Applications can be found on various forms such as payment card & banking card, identification card,  credit card, access card, etc.
  • For example, in Germany, all bank cards are equipped with a chip that stores the card holder’s information such as birth date, name, address, and bank account number. This information is used as identification by cigarettes vending machines across the country to allow access only when the holder is older than 17 years old. The chip also stores a small amount of money that will be deducted by the vending machine after completing purchase. 

The main advantages of contact smart card are :

  • Data processing ability      
  • High security level
  • Bigger data storage      
  • High durability
  • Commonly produced by banks & financial institutions

Points to consider:

  • Relatively more expensive      
  • Geographically exclusive


  • Almost in all cases, banks will provide you with the reader. You can also easily buy the reader online or from local reseller. The option also extends to smartphone and tablet PC, with a lot of vendors offering, not only hardware, but also payment processing services.

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