Smart cards and credentials Smart cards can be used in a wide range of access control and secure identification applications that protect personal information or deliver secure transactions. There are an increasing number of contactless smart card technology implementations that capitalize on its ability to enable fast, convenient transactions and its availability in various forms – plastic cards, key fobs or documents. From transit fare payment cards, government and corporate identification cards to documents such as electronic passports and financial payment cards, contactless smart card technology is being used for a variety of current and emerging applications. A smart card is essentially a tiny computer, capable of containing its own processor and memory, securely managing stored data and providing access to data on the card by interacting intelligently via Radio Frequency (RF) with a contactless reader. Smart cards can now incorporate an embedded photo, PIN or password and application data along with biometric information. With such increased capabilities, smart cards are now being used for applications beyond physical access control – logical access, multi-factor identification, time/attendance, debit functions and cashless vending among others. Applications using contactless smart cards support many security features that ensure the integrity, confidentiality and privacy of information stored or transmitted including mutual authentication, strong information security, strong contactless device security, authenticated and authorized information access, and strong support for information privacy. Contact smart card technology provides similar capabilities without the RF interface that allow contactless smart cards to be read at a short distance from the reader. ASSA ABLOY Group company HID Global offers an extensive portfolio of access and identification-related applications and solutions using contact and contactless smart card technology.