What Does a Smart Card Manufacturer Do?

smart card manufacturer

What Does a Smart Card Manufacturer Do?

Smart cards are devices that store information, exchange data with card readers and are used to identify and authenticate users. They are used as access-control devices, National eIDs, health or residence permits, and driver’s licenses or tachograph cards.

They are available in a variety of formats and specifications. Types include contact, dual interface and RFID. End users include BFSI, telecommunication, healthcare and government sectors.


Smart cards are used to secure information in several different fields such as banking, healthcare, entertainment, and media. Unlike magnetic stripes, they are designed to be highly secure and resistant to tampering. This is because they are fitted with microprocessors and have a memory or processing chip within them.

Security is one of the most important considerations when deciding on a smart card manufacturer. The most common type of security in smart cards is encryption. This protects data by generating a key, storing it on the chip, and using it to decrypt the information. The encryption process also generates a digital signature that is used to verify the integrity of the information.

Another type of security in smart cards is authentication. This can be done by the card holder, or by the computer system that is running the application. This can be done to verify that the person is who they say they are and has not been compromised by malware or other attacks.

In addition, it can be used to restrict the access to certain areas and prevent unauthorized people from accessing a certain area. For example, a card that has been issued to a person in a hospital can be used to allow them to enter a room only when they have a unique code.

The security features of a smart card are based on the functionality of the card itself as well as the applications and services that it supports. These include encryption, authentication, biometrics, secure communications, and other features.

Physical attacks on a smart card are typically more costly than the cost of the system itself, but they are still possible. Typically, they are performed in well-funded laboratories and may require physical damage to the card itself.

Attacks that target the cryptographic algorithms are usually not as expensive and are done by exposing the keys or other private data stored on the card through a non-invasive attack, often using equipment that can be easily disguised as a normal smart card reader.

There are many different types of encryption algorithms available on a smart card. Some of these algorithms can be vulnerable to differential power analysis, which involves measuring the precise time and electric current required for encryption and decryption.


Unlike magnetic stripe cards or barcodes, smart cards can contain a large amount of memory and processing capability. They can perform a variety of functions, including security, identification, authentication, access control, payment, smart card manufacturer communication, and data storage. They are also widely used as a replacement for conventional plastic cards in many industries.

Manufacturers of standard and custom dual interface, contactless or RFID, JAVA and memory smart cards for the gaming, hospitality, healthcare, telecommunication and ticketing industries offer various security features, specifications, color and finishes. Capabilities include system designing and building, inspection, installation, technical support, engineering and consulting.

Complex Cards are more functional than standard smart cards and often have more components. The components chosen influence functionality, cost, power supply needs and manufacturing complexity. They can incorporate a wide variety of components, such as an alphanumeric keyboard, a capacitive touch screen, an RFID antenna, a microprocessor and more.

These components drive the functionality of the card and influence how it is personalized. They may require extra inputs, increase personalization time or require a different manufacturing process than the one for standard smart cards.

As a result, these cards are more expensive than their counterparts and can be very difficult to manufacture. However, they are highly secure and are a good choice for specific applications that require high levels of security and a low level of manufacturing complexity.

A common function of a Complex Card is the computation of a cryptographic value, such as a One-Time Password (OTP). To generate this value, a cryptoprocessor must be encapsulated in the card. This chip must be initialized with a seed value, which is stored securely within the card to prevent unauthorized prediction of the generated OTPs.

Another common function of a Complex Card is the addition of an alphanumeric keyboard and a touch screen to enter text data. These keyboards require constant power, therefore a battery is added to the design of the card.

Moreover, Complex Cards must be made of durable material as they may need to undergo frequent wear and tear. They can be manufactured in a variety of materials, including conductive polymers, thermoplastic elastomers and metals. They can be laminated or printed, and are backed by a plastic coating for protection from scratching and damage.


A smart card manufacturer needs to ensure that their products can stand up to the harsh environment in which they are used. They can do this by choosing the right materials and ensuring that their ID cards are tested to meet established durability testing standards.

Durability can be influenced by several factors, including the manufacturing process and the material the ID card body is made of. It is also influenced by the features that are added to the ID card body, such as embossing and magnetic stripes.

Contact: The life expectancy of contact smart cards is greatly impacted by the way that they are manufactured and the way in which their chips are attached to the card body. The manufacturing process must include a bonding method for the contact chip, as well as a way to secure the contact plate onto the chip module. Poor manufacture quality can result in a separation of these components, which can cause the smart card to break down.

Complex: These cards can be more difficult to manufacture than standard smart cards. They often require more complex processes, including laminated inlays with a chip mounted on an inert support. They can also be more expensive to produce because they have to comply with the ISO/IEC 7810, 7811 and 7816 standards for smart card manufacture.

Hybrid: These cards have two smart chips, one connected via a contact interface and the other via a contactless interface. They are often considered to be the least durable of the main smart card types.

Polycarbonate: This is a popular smart card material because it can withstand high temperatures, high humidity and strong sunlight. It is also a flexible material, which can allow for high-quality security printing and other features to be integrated into the card.

Alternatively, it can be combined with special derivative materials that have been developed to enhance specific strengths or reduce certain weaknesses in the ID card. These derivative materials are usually paired with specialty ID card body substrates to significantly improve the physical durability of an ID card.

In addition, a smart card manufacturer can offer a range of protective overlaminates and finishes that can help to extend the life of the ID card. These finishes can prevent abrasions and other forms of wear from affecting the printed images on the ID card. They can also protect the plastic ID card from moisture damage that can weaken topcoats and overlaminates.


As a smart card manufacturer, you may be looking for ways to personalize the cards that your customers issue to their employees. These cards, which typically feature a photo, name and ID number, are used for a variety of different purposes, such as identification, access control, healthcare, voter registration, and other applications.

When your company personalizes these cards, you must ensure that the end users will be able to use them for their intended purpose. This is particularly true for government credentials, which often require special features to secure their data, such as holograms, perforations and windows.

Another challenge is that conventional personalization processes can be time consuming and costly. This is especially true for smart cards smart card manufacturer with multiple applications stored on them, which typically require different sets of keys and algorithms to be accessed and used in the personalization process.

A solution that allows a card to be personalized without having to go through several personalization steps is essential for any smart card manufacturer. This way, you can keep the costs down while still providing a high level of security for the end users who will be using the cards.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a preparation process is performed that speeds up the personalization process. This process generates derived card keys, public key pairs (if any) and public key certificates in advance of the personalization process. These keys and other secret information are then combined with chip card data 25 from the issuer’s system in an output file that is input to a personalization process at a personalization location, such as a personalization bureau.

This file contains the derived card keys, public key pairs and public key certificates, as well as chip card data interspersed with other personalization data in a flexible format. This file is then sent to the personalization location where it is used to personalize the smart card.

Another benefit of this approach is that the issuer’s master keys are not required to leave the issuer’s location and control, which increases security. Moreover, the time needed to perform the personalization process at a personalization location is also decreased. This makes the entire personalization process faster and more efficient for the issuer and their customers.

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