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Encoding / Programming of Chips

Hotel card and reader

There are many differing levels of encoding that can be required for differing solutions. Whilst some solutions can use a chip in its factory state many require extra information to be added to the chip for higher levels of security or functionality. Below are some of the many different types of encoding that we offer to suit your needs and that of your system.


This is often the setup of a data structure onto the chip so that the solution system is able to recognise the card and add or manipulate data as needed. Chips that have authentication keys or encryption functionality may also have these items set to a specific value, that is not the manufactures default, during the initialisation process


Assigning an individual credential to each chip can be used to personalise to the card or product to an individual or scheme. Some chips have predefined memory areas designed specifically for this task, others have freely usable memory that enable the credential to be whatever you need it to be for ease, simplicity and control. Many large capacity chips can hold a lot of data and can be used with multiple applications or systems. In corporate environments, for example, it may be desirable to use a chip card for access control, cashless vending and attendance. Each of these applications may require separate security controls and separate credentials all on the one chip.


The security of data held on a smart chip is important to prevent fraudulent use and maintain the integrity of the solution. Encrypting data whilst it is stored on the chip is a good way to increase that security. Many chips have a built-in security encryption, often based on Data Encryption Standard (DES) or Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). We can also encrypt your data using many other of the other standard methodologies that suit you or your scheme.


The use of keys with smart chips have a dual role. For encrypted data, keys have to be securely loaded into the special protected memory area of the chip, to enable the encryption to secure the data. Keys are also used for authentication to the chip to enable checks that only authorised readers are allowed to read or update the data. In advanced microprocessor based smart chips, keys can be generated by the chip itself and securely stored. Our technicians can create keys that are added to the chip memory ready for use.

Applet Loading

Advanced microprocessor based smart chips can store and run custom applications (or applets) for bespoke data storage or processing requirements. Our chip programming facilities at the USC Technical Centre are fully equipped to handle this specialist requirement. Our technicians can work alongside your developers to ensure you applet is loaded correctly, tested, secure and ready for use before the cards are delivered to your door.


Our secure facility has the ability to program smart chips, in any form factor from cards to wristbands to key fobs to stickers, to suite your solution. Our service is equipped to handle contact, contactless & multi-technology products with bespoke data management that maintains the security of your data throughout. Whether you are looking for a small bespoke run or the issuance of a large-scale scheme, our specialist team are here to help you. We house a range of purpose-built machinery and equipment that can handle more than just cards. From high speed encoding to full colour personalisation printing and fulfilment, USC have a solution that’s right for you.