Business Units » ID Systems » Technology » Smart Cards

Smart card technology-the integration of a computer-like microchip into a card or passport-has now found applications in the identification industry. While smart card technology has been widely used in telecommunications and banking for many years, governments increasingly look at smart card technology to improve service provision and secure identities.

The potential benefits of smart card technology in identification systems are numerous. Microchips provide large memory space, enabling the storage of information such as large biometrics. Smart card technology also offers more reliable identification. If combined with biometrics, it may create a one-to-one link from the cardholder to the document, often referred to as two-factor authentication, important in addressing the security risk of document swapping and identity theft. Furthermore, smart card technology enables process facilitation such as border control solutions, and process efficiency improvements such as e-government. Finally, providing computing power in a trusted identification document, smart identification documents may include other applications such as e-government, logical access control, transit payment, and banking.

Today, smart card technology is used in many identification documents, including passports, national ID cards and driver's licences.