How Smart Cards are Used Today

Subtly but swiftly, smart cards and readers are becoming more and more part of our day-to-day lives. You’ve surely noticed how long it has been since the last time you felt a coin in your pocket with your new contactless bank card being just too convenient, but it isn’t just in contactless payment where smart cards are becoming more widely accepted. Take a look at our picks for the aspects of daily life smart cards are affecting.

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With how hectic public transport can be, it’s a relief to know that travel companies are embracing the much swifter payment method of contactless smart cards. Travel cards are adopting the smart chip with up-to-date fare payment systems installed or being installed in train stations across the UK and buses fitted with smart card readers.

In a combined effort to streamline the flying security experience and adopt the use of smart cards as a form of identification, 11 countries including the UK and USA have adapted passports to include a smart chip. The smart chip stores your identification data and will be read at major airports’ e-passport gates, thereby reducing the need for staff and making dreaded airport queues move faster.


In hospitality and retail, membership and loyalty cards are being upgraded to smart cards. Businesses with smart card readers can issue customers with smart cards for linking to data, like information or point schemes, or allow access to otherwise off-limit areas, such as spa or gym facilities. Gym lockers, hotel rooms and mini-bars are all being adapted with smart card readers to allow for a more peaceful experience.

Identification and Security

There are also a lot of uses being considered in terms of identification, with the US looking into or implementing systems like the First Responder Authentication Card (FRAC) and the Personal Identification Verification (PIV) card which is issued to employees of federal agencies.

In healthcare, NHS smart cards are being issued to healthcare professionals, allowing access to clinical information relevant to their role. This greatly improves the security, storage and access of patient data and history.

With the unique SIM card in your phone, companies are also using phones to identify users, making it easier to bill or ID phone owners.

Some computer companies, like Microsoft, have started using smart cards in place of usernames and passwords, leading the way for a smart card badge to become the norm in access to information. Considered ‘tamper resistant’ by Microsoft, the smart card badge is a portable way of allowing access only to information any person is cleared to with pre-set and authorized privileges.

Smart cards have become the most convenient way to access your data, with their portability and advanced security allowing for ease of use and ease of mind in kind. Its uses across industries such as retail, transport and data storage have slipped seamlessly into society for the benefit of everyone.

About Charley Eves

I have been involved with marketing for nearly 30 years. Ask me anything. If I can help I will surprised. Dad of two. Husband.

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