Contactless Smart Cards

A card that activates via Near Field Communication (NFC) to store data according to its usage

What is a Contactless Smart Card?

Contactless Smart Cards are also known by other names such as NFC Cards (near field communication), Smart Chip Cards and Electronic Smart Cards.

In essence, a Contactless Smart Card is a storage device. Once the card is held within close proximity of a card reader (via Near Field Communication) the card is then activated. The reader can then read and write information onto the card itself. Think of it as a very small memory stick that holds information sent to it via card readers.

Some advanced cards even have processors within which act as small computers, however in most cases the cards simply act as secure storage devices.

What are the benefits of Contactless Smart Cards and Smart Media?

Cards in general are used for wide variety of applications. It is therefore foreseeable that Contactless Smart Cards can be utilised across a broad range of technologies. It is the chip within the card that is the smart bit. This chip can be built into many formats (media) such as a fob, wristband, adhesive sticker, watch etc.

  • Storage of vast data sets – Given that it’s a storage device it can store a wide range of data such as time/date stamps, cashless vending stats, number of times used, which rooms/ machines/ products have been active, authorised/ unauthorised area activation, user ID, company ID and everything in-between. The only real restriction is the size of the memory on the chip.
  • Cashless Vending – The smart chip can be used to store credits which can be used to pay for products (university bar/meals) or use of something (ski lift, locker etc.). Credits are usually purchased up front in batches and loaded onto the card. Cashless transactions have lots of benefits for the user and the operator such as reduced theft of cash on site, guaranteed payment, ease of use and convenience, guarantee of responsible spending (authorised purchases only), restrictions on spend per day/ hour, increase in overall spend on site (increasing profits), anonymity of spending e.g. children with free school meals are not discriminated.
  • Hard wearing – Contained in any form of smart media the smart chip is well protected, waterproof and dust proof.
  • Accessible – At the end of the day it’s a card. This means it can fit easily into most types of card readers. That includes touch points, ticket readers, parking machines, vehicle readers, usb readers (connected to PC) and other universal card reader types.
  • Secure – In comparison to magnetic stripe cards Contactless Smart media is very secure. Fraud is rare however this doesn’t stop the stealing of the media itself.
  • Speed – Near to instant read/ write speeds means quicker logging. Quicker logging means quicker movement of people, machines, goods and other accountable items.
  • System Pairing – Given the flexibility of a smart chip it can be used for more than one system at a time e.g. it can be used for security access, machine/ tool access, attendance reporting, time allocation, issue logging, geographical zoning etc.
  • Intelligence – Media can be used across multiple platforms, this enables far superior reporting on your staff, machines, sites and any other mobile asset.
  • Product cost – The Smart Card’s life span is long as they can be reused. Also the cards do not wear easily, therefore reducing the need for replacements.

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