Smart Card Testing
OverviewA Smart Card is any card with an embedded integrated circuit (IC), often referred to as a chip or microprocessor. Used for products such as credit and debit cards, transport cards, SIM cards, Identifications cards etc. the embedded IC provides greater data storage, additional security and functionality.
Smart cards falls into two distinct categories: contact cards and contactless cards. These types differ in the method the IC data is communicated. Contactless cards have their own range of tests and standards. For information on RFID/NFC Contactless IC Card Testing view our RFID/NFC Contactless IC Card Testing page.
To ensure reliable function on all different types of card readers, a set of ISO/IEC standards have been developed for smart cards. To further improve compatibility between past and present payment systems the payment brands; Europay, MasterCard and Visa created a set of specifications for smart cards called the EMV system. For information on EMV Testing view our EMV Testing page.
Contact CardsContact Cards have a series of small pads, which provide an electrical connection with a reading device. The use of contact card technology is becoming more prevalent, with a growing number of new credit/debit card companies incorporating it in their products. This technology can also been seen in everyday devices such as cell phone SIM cards.
Integrated Circuit TestingIC Contact Testing helps ensure the integrity and reliability of the card at the point of transaction. CTI tests contact IC cards to recognised ISO/IEC standards - evaluating for consistency and functionality in-line with what is expected internationally.
ISO/IEC 7816-1 IC cards with contacts - Physical Characteristics
Surface Profile of Contacts:
- A flat surface reduces the chance of read reliability problems
- Mechanical Strength (Card & Contacts)
- Electrical Resistance of Contacts
- Surface Profile of Contacts:
ISO/IEC 7816-2 IC cards with contacts - Dimensions & Location of Contacts
IC contact location
- An IC Contact location failing ISO increases chance of Read Reliability problems
- IC contact location
Electrostatic Discharge - Chip DamageCommon activities generate potential harmful charges damaging components. This can cause chip failure, in failed or dead components.
ISO Standards Partial Acknowledgement:
- ISO/IEC 7810 Amd 1 Contact IC Card Requirements - 2000 V
- ISO/IEC 7810 Amd 1 Proximity Card Requirements - 6000 V
- Developing Standards suggest 8000 V
- Dry Cold places are prone to seeing chip failures