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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