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What are contactless smart cards?

What are contactless smart cards?


Generally contactless or proximity cards fall into three general classifications such as:

  • Smart Contactless Frequency: 13,56 MHz (Multi-Application technology) Mifare, Legic, Icode, etc
  • Low Frequencies: below 150 kHz (read only) EM4102, HID, Hi-Tag etc
  • Microwave Frequencies: 2,45GHz (Long reading distance) EM4122, Ucode etc

Contactless smart cards use radio frequency (RF) technology to interact with a reader. Each card has an antenna embedded inside the card that enables communication wit the reader without physical contact.

The market for these cards is growing rapidly due to obvious benefits such as ease of use, speed and versatility. Universal Smart Cards is well placed to help you source these products creating new opportunities for issuers.

Popular applications include, but are not limited to, public transport for fare payments, access control, cashless vending, parking, loyalty, e-purse, gambling, road toll, student, employee ID’s in government and corporate environments, e-passports and other secure travel documents, and cards for cashless payment.

Universal Smart Cards supply all these varying classifications of cards from the most popular silicon providers such as IC's from Atmel, EM Microelectronic, Infineon Technologies, LEGIC Identsystems, Microchip, NXP (formerly Philips Semiconductors), STMicroelectronics. Additional form factors such as modules, inlays, key-rings, and labels are also available.

You can check out our range of contactless smart cards here or contact us to discuss contactless cards further.