Similar to a credit card, a smart card stores information on an integrated microprocessor chip located inside it.
There are two basic kinds of smart cards Printing Services. An “intelligent” smart card contains a central processing unit – a CPU – that actually has the ability to store and secure information, and “make decisions”, as required by the card issuer’s specific application needs.
Because smart cards offer a “read/write” capability, new information can be added and processed. For example, monetary values can be incremented and decremented as a particular application might require.
The second type of card is often called a memory card. Memory cards are primarily information storage cards that contain a stored value that the user can “spend” in a pay phone, retail, vending, or similar transaction.
The intelligence of the integrated circuit chip in both types of cards allows them to protect the information being stored from damage or theft. For this reason, smart cards are much more secure than magnetic stripe cards, which carry information on the outside of the card and can be easily copied. Smart cards are an effective way of ensuring secure access to open interactive systems, such as encryption key mobility, secure single sign-on, and electronic digital signatures.