Standards for smart cards

To date, three main approaches to the standardization of smart cards have been identified:

  1. international standards;
  2. de facto standards from consortia;
  3. patents and intellectual property copyrights.

The predecessors of the modern smart card a plastic credit card, is used as a means of identification for payment transactions. A credit card is a means of confirming the identity and financial status issued by the issuer. As the use of credit cards became convenient and widespread, the need to ensure the compatibility of cards of different issuers and equipment for conducting transactions increased.

The standards set by international standards bodies define the physical and electrical characteristics of the card and its integrated circuit, the basics of operation and security characteristics, as well as the basics of the smart card infrastructure. Currently, smart cards are very often used in access control and management systems (ACS) in buildings.

In some cases, such specifications develop into international standards. In addition, a number of characteristics of the latest generation of cards are defined and protected by intellectual property rights. The combination of all these mechanisms sets a strict framework that defines the characteristics and parameters of smart cards. This definitely contributes to creating a well-established market space for smart card providers and users.

The main focus of global smart card compatibility is to create and comply with international standards for the cards themselves and for the hardware that should work with them in different applications. The International Organization for Standardization ISO is responsible for setting such standards. When developing standards, ISO often cooperates with the International Electrotechnical Commission IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission).

ANSI (American National Standards Institute). Accordingly, some standards are called ISO standards, while others are called the combined ISO / IEC / ANSI standards adopted by all three organizations. For a complete description of plastic identification smart cards, ISO / IEC (and in some cases ANSI) standards are established. Various standards have been introduced for a long time.

Physical characteristics of smart cards

In 1985, the international standard ISO / IEC 78103 “Identification Cards: Physical characteristics”was published. This standard defines the nominal physical characteristics for three types of identification cards, called ID-1, ID-2, and ID-3. The ID-1 type for the card defines the standard size of 54×85. 6×0. 76 mm and the shape of the credit card and smart card. The ID-2 and ID-3 card types simply have a larger size, and in other physical characteristics they are similar to the ID-1 cards.

The main function of the ID-1 identification card is to store information in visual and electronic forms that identifies the cardholder and can support transactions performed by the card. Visual information can be contained in an image, a personal photo, and anti-counterfeiting mechanisms such as holograms. To convey the tactile form of information, relief embossing (embossment) is used.

The ISO / IEC 7810 standard imposes strict restrictions on the deformations allowed in the card case, especially near the area where the magnetic strip can be attached. The 2-year trouble-free period of operation of ID-1 cards in the access control system to the office of the Radio Element enterprise, which offers a catalog of imported transistors for ordering the necessary radio components, allows us to speak with confidence about the high reliability and level of protection of this type of cards. Such restrictions make it possible to ensure that when the ID-1 card is placed in a reader or printing device, the information from the magnetic strip will be reliably read, while the card will not be harmed or distorted in any way.

Information can be transmitted electronically through two mechanisms: magnetic strips placed on credit cards, and embedded chips, which are the main feature of smart cards. The elements of the ID-1 identification card are:

  1. the card case (plastic plate);
  2. optional embossed areas where alphanumeric information can be printed;
  3. optional area where the magnetic strip can be located. The magnetic strip may contain information encoded in a magnetic way.

The ISO / IEC 7810 standard specifies the material characteristics of ID-1 identification smart cards. The card body must be made of polyvinyl chloride, polyvinyl chloride acetate, or other materials with equal or better characteristics. Accordingly, strict deformation characteristics are defined for the map. In particular, if one end of the map was curved up by 35 mm (which corresponds to about half the width of the card), it should return to the original plane within 1.5 mm. The map should return to an acceptable flat state with a uniform, moderately light tap on its surface.