Lifecycle of EMV smart cards

Other specifications and standards for smart cards

The international standards ISO 7816, ISO/IEC 14443, ISO/IEC 15633 and ISO / IEC 10373 are undoubtedly the most important for general-purpose smart cards. In addition to the above-mentioned basic standards for general-purpose smart cards, there are also standards that define the use of smart cards in certain areas, such as healthcare, transportation, banking, e-commerce, and identification. Since a smart card is always only a part of an information technology, it is subject to a wide range of information processing standards, such as character lists, national encodings, monetary units, and cryptographic operations.

Due to the relatively slow development of international standards, there is an increase in the number of smart card specifications issued by organizations such as professional communities, trade associations, academic institutions and private firms that are not associated with standardization bodies. Such specifications play a major role in stimulating discussion and generating opinions that are useful for official standardization bodies. Smart cards are used for cell phones, cars, and access systems, so it can be expected that these technologies and their applications will also formulate requirements for the smart cards included in them.

With the help of smart cards, you can control access to premises, restrict entry to the territory of the enterprise, or control the automatic gates for entry, for example, to a closed area or parking lot. Their use significantly simplifies the maintenance of turnstiles or automatic gates, since during their maintenance, specialists can use stand-alone (portable) card readers to check the operability of the controllers built into the equipment. With the rapid spread of smart cards, the market will help assess the performance of international smart card standards. Smart cards have a secure space in which you can store customer and user identification data – passwords / certificates / keys / biometric data. Smart cards support various functions, such as authentication to access systems / network resources / workstations, and also allow you to protect data / perform data encryption / form a digital signature. With the help of a special software solution for ACS, smart cards can be issued directly in the system shell, which increases security and reduces various risks.

Smart cards can be used in different operating systems and access / identity management systems. ID cards support all modern security standards and can work on different platforms, allowing you to solve any tasks in different industries. Smart cards can also work together with other access and authentication systems: software generators on electronic devices, USB access keys, one-time password generators, and other devices.

Phases of the lifecycle of smart cards

The ISO 10202-1 standard generalizes the life cycle of the card, which is the same for all production methods, as well as for a wide variety of applications. It should be noted that this standard focuses mainly on financial transaction applications and the information technology that is used in such applications, and less attention is paid to the actual production of chips and the card case. Nevertheless, this ISO 10202-1 standard is a very successful attempt to provide a methodology for describing the full life cycle of a smart card. That is why it is used here as the basis for considering the life cycle of a smart card.

Essentially, a smart card consists of two completely different components. The first component is the card body, with its overprints, security features, and possibly a magnetic stripe. The second component that turns the card body into a real smart card is the module containing the chip. This division of the card into two components applies to both memory cards and microprocessor cards. The only aspect that affects the design of a smart card is the way the data is transmitted.

Smart cards with contacts, use the electrical connections to the terminal with six or eight visible from the outside of the contact surfaces. Contactless smart cards contain windings in the body of the smart card. This layout significantly affects the production of this type of smart card. This type of card was used by us when implementing the access control system in the warehouse complex of the Kiev company “Water World”, which offers pools made of various materials, and the system allows you to assign different levels of access to control zones for each of the smart cards of the service personnel. The production process is also heavily influenced by other map elements, such as the material used for the card body, the methods of drawing text on the card, and the physical protection elements of the map.

However, regardless of all these options, the absolute priority is the requirement to minimize the cost of the smart card. The production of smart cards is massive, the number of products in the batch starts from about 10 thousand and can reach the level of 10 million. Cost-effective production of high-quality smart cards requires the use of highly automated and efficient technological processes. In accordance with the ISO 10202-1 standard, the life cycle of a smart card is divided into five phases, which are connected by clearly defined transitions.

The production of a smart card is a rather complex technical and technological problem, especially given the volume of card production, the conditions of the environment where smart cards operate, and the length of time during which smart cards are expected to provide a high level of services. The details of how the cards are made are usually a closely guarded secret of each manufacturing company.

The production of a smart card involves a large number of processes, of which the final operation to create a fully finished product is to embed the chip in the plastic card case. For smart cards that allow multiple applications to be used, it is possible to perform multiple operations to download and delete applications.