A smart card is a type of chip card that is made of plastic and contains a computer chip that is embedded into it. This computer chip is a type of memory chip or a microprocessor that is able of storing and transacting data. Such kind of data is in the form of value or information or both and this is stored in the computer chip of the smart card. This data can be read through a reader that is part of a computers system. In present day scenario, smart cards find applications in various fields such as banking, healthcare, entertainment and transportation sectors, to name a few. Such kind of applications benefit from the security features and the added features that are a part of the smart card ecosystem. Systems that are based on barcode and magnetic stripes are being converted to smart cards on a large scale due to the benefits that the smart cards offer.
Smart cards are able to improve the security features and convenience in any kind of transaction. With the help of a smart card, user information and identity can be stored in a tamper proof manner. They also have been found to me more reliable than other systems like magnetic strips and barcodes, with the smart cards being more durable and having to undergo lesser maintenance. Smart cards can also be used to protect the data from cyber attacks and from identity thefts. Thus, smart cards can be used to manage the passwords and other sensitive data of any organization. The most prominent use of smart cards is in the form of SIM cards in the mobile phones. Such type of a smart card, in the form of a SIM card, is able to store and identify the rights and privileges of each subscribe on different type of networks.
Another use of smart cards is in the form of cards that store value and other information that is required of a loyalty card, providing incentive to repeat customers in any retail environment. Such type of store value is easier to track and store than compared to cash. Hence, they care used in instances like parking cards, laundry, gaming, entertainment and transportation. Smart cards are also used in the banking sector in the form of debit cards and credit cards issued by various banks. Such kind of smart card usage protects the user from fraud and offers them safe transactions, even on the internet. Smart cards are also used in the healthcare domain for the purpose of identification of patients and maintaining and storing of their health records. Thus, smart cards have multipurpose utilities can are becoming ubiquitous in our daily lives.