An RFID Smart card is combined with an integrated circuit (or microchip) that is secured by a microcontroller. The card uses a direct or contactless frequency to establish a connection with the reader.
Smart cards provide a benefit to people with the right to privacy and give confidence to the users of organizations. It has wider advantages than traditional cards because they provide more features like security, reliability, and functionality.
RFID smart card technology is designed to enable applications like identification, access control, and contactless payment systems providing solutions for various sectors like healthcare, manufacturing, education, agriculture, etc.
For example, In the education sector, RFID smart cards are equipped with a chip and ID that is unique for every student. These smart cards are scanned by RFID readers, which can offer features like verifying their identity, and access control on the campus and wireless payments. Therefore, the smart card makes it easy for students to carry a single smart card rather than multiple cards or cash.
RFID Smart Cards
RFID smart cards are contactless cards that use RFID-based technology to transmit and retrieve data. One of the best features of an RFID smart card is the level of security it offers, which varies according to the applications that use it. RFID smart card technology is adopted all over the world. They are helping us transform various sectors like education, identification, retail, and transportation.
Mifare and NFC cards are also based on HF (13.56MHz) and used for identification, ticketing, payments and access control, etc.
How does an RFID Smart Card Work?
The data inside an RFID smart card is encoded inside a chip, and the chip transmits the data to the reader antenna after identifying the user to a computerized security system. RFID technology helps establish communication between the reader and the card. It has a reading range of less than 4 inches (10 cm), and the embedded antenna allows the card to use radio frequencies to transfer the information.
One of the advantages of RFID smart cards is their security since readers can only read the card with which they are associated. They can even have the advantage of blocking any unauthorized access by mismatching the encryption keys.
What is an RFID Smart Card used for?
RFID smart cards are not limited to stores or corporate offices but find applications in healthcare, banking, education, retail, security, transportation, etc.
Some of the applications of RFID smart cards are as follows:
1. Security: RFID cards are advanced enough to provide access control and are mostly used as a security system to open or close the doors of a building. It allows only an authorized person to enter the premises and restricts unauthorized access.
2. Data Tracking: Tracking the activity of a user in a building security system, including all the check-in and check-out timings, and all the other required information is stored in the database of the security system.
3. Identification: This RFID smart card technology is used in applications that require protection of their personal information. For example, an employee can record a unique employee ID code and other data known only to the company.
4. Payments: RFID smart cards are also capable of making online transactions; they provide a contactless payment feature. This technology is a fast and secure process of making payments. Credit and debit cards are embedded with RFID chips to provide a contactless and secure method of money transactions.
What are the Three Frequency Ranges of RFID Smart Cards?
1. Low-frequency cards: Low-frequency cards have low read range and communication speed. They operate in the frequency range of 125 kHz–134 kHz, whereas chips offer low cost, low security, and play an important role in identification.
2. High-frequency cards: High-frequency cards have medium-range and high-speed data communication, which makes them a perfect application that requires large data transfers and secure communication between reader and card. Mostly used in college ID cards, access control, identification, transportation, and retail payments. They operate in a high-frequency range of 13.56 MHz.
3. Ultra-high frequency cards: A UHF card is capable of fast data transfer and a read range of up to 10m, and it operates in an ultra-high frequency range from 850 MHz to 960 MHz. They are common and are used for location and attendance tracking solutions. Their connection can be interrupted by materials or by the environment.
To summarize, RFID Smart cards are popular and have been adopted by various businesses. They are popular because they are convenient, fast, and secure to use, which makes them a perfect technology to be used by different sectors like education, transportation, manufacturing, retail stores, etc. RFID smart cards are a valuable tool for businesses and organizations that need secure and easy ways to identify people and assets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1) What encryption and communication protocols are used by an RFID smart card?
RFID smart cards use symmetric encryption algorithms to protect the data and ISO 18000 air interface protocol for establishing secure intercommunication between devices.
Q2) What is the function of an RFID smart card?
An RFID smart card provides a secure way to identify and authenticate the holder and third-party applications that want to access the card.
Q3) What are some smart card applications?
Smart cards are developed for a wide range of applications, most of them related to identity and access management (IAM).
Common smart card applications are:
1. ATM cards (debit or credit cards)
2. ID cards
4. Sim cards
5. Bus passes
6. Electronic Wallets
- Last updated on Oct 26, 2023