What Smart-Card Standards Are There?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsWhat Smart-Card Standards Are There?
RFID Journal Staff asked 11 years ago
Where can I find information regarding the various standards for smart cards?

—Name withheld


International standards for smart cards are established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and you can obtain the specifications for ISO smart-card standards from ISO’s Web site. The main standards are:

ISO/IEC 7816: This is a 14-part standard. The individual parts are:

• 7816-1: Physical characteristics

• 7816-2: Cards with contacts—dimensions and location of the contacts

• 7816-3: Cards with contacts—electrical interface and transmission protocols

• 7816-4: Organization, security and commands for interchange

• 7816-5: Registration of application providers

• 7816-6: Inter-industry data elements for interchange

• 7816-7: Inter-industry commands for Structured Card Query Language (SCQL)

• 7816-8: Commands for security operations

• 7816-9: Commands for card management

• 7816-10: Electronic signals and answer to reset for synchronous cards

• 7816-11 Personal verification through biometric methods

• 7816-12 Cards with contacts—USB electrical interface and operating procedures

• 7816-13: Commands for application management in multi-application environment

• 7816-15: Cryptographic information application

ISO/IEC 14443: This standard defines the air interface protocol for close-proximity contactless smart cards, including the communications and anti-collision protocols. Cards based on the ISO 14443 standard operate at 13.56 MHz. This is the primary standard used for transit, financial, access control and e-passport applications.

ISO 15693: This standard is used for vicinity cards. Technically, ISO 15693 is supposed to be utilized in applications that require a longer read range (1 meter [3.3 feet] versus 10 centimeters [4 inches] for ISO 14443 close-proximity cards).

You can also obtain information from the Smart Card Alliance.

—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal

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