Reasons You Should Be Using Smart Cards
Thanks for tuning in to this second post in the series about smart cards. Let's jump right in!
Smartcards are flexible when it comes to reconfiguring or reusing them.
- They reduce inline network costs—smart cards allow transactions to take place both online and offline.
- They are durable—they are tougher to break or scratch. Magnetic stripe cards are worse because any damage to the stripe will render the card useless.
- They have more memory—this allows multiple applications to be stored in one single card, so no carrying about a wallet full of cards anymore.
Smart cards afford a lot of edge when compared to the magnetic stripe variety but they also come with some disadvantages as well.
- Price—Smart cards are expensive to apply for, with additional fees charged with every card use.
- Vulnerability—If they are stolen or lost, then there are liability and ownership issues for card holders to wade through. And since a smart card contains varied information, the extent of data loss is that much greater.
- Scalability—At this point the technology has still not matured enough to support a large user base efficiently.
Common Uses of Smart Cards
Due to their increased memory space and versatile technology, smart cards can be used for a wide variety of applications:
- Credit / Debit Cards for the bank customers
- Electronic cash that can be topped up and deducted from point of sale terminals. No more need to carry cash around when your smart card is sufficient.
- Secure identification computer systems that allow for more seamless and foolproof security in sensitive installations.
- Wireless communications
- Collection of loyalty points and frequent flyer miles in one convenient place. Manage your rewards better.
- Banking – secure transactions
- Identification purposes such as citizenship, immigrant, government or even welfare card
Smart cards are revolutionizing data security and managing your identity. They have become main stream in Asia, Mexico, and Europe and are now poised to take over America. Issues remain, such as the $35 billion initial cost of rolling out new cards to the American public.
But even with its assorted shortcomings, in the longer term, these cards with embedded chips are going to bring the future all the more closer to the human race. It’s not just about convenience or having a lighter wallet, it’s about changing a fundamental way the human race considers its identity.
A secure world awaits one that makes identity theft and fraud-related offenses a thing of the past. Financial crimes will be much harder to commit as the chip will have adequate safeguards to protect every smart card holder.
A brave new world waits, and it all rests in the hand of a tiny embedded microprocessor. The future is miniature as it’s evident from the smartphones we carry today. Smartcards are no different that way.
Matthew Koren is the President of Swiftly Paid, a credit card processing and payroll service provider located in Portland, OR. He runs his company, as well as facilitating team and leadership development. You can contact him by filling out the Contact Us page, or by calling 866-402-1485, ext 750.