smart card : Java Glossary
- smart card
A card with a small computer chip embedded on it. It can be used for:
- Identification cards
- debit cards
- credit cards
- medical information
You typically program them in a stripped down Java.
The advantages over conventional mag stripe cards include:
- More durable. The card need not even touch the reader.
- Harder to counterfeit.
- You can use them for PIN-less purchases of low cost items such as coffee or
fast food to speed up purchase. You program the PIN-less limit.
- A single card can, in theory, handle dozens of unrelated functions.
The big problem with smart cards is you can inadvently purchase something just by
walking near a scanner or by a thief waving a scanner over your pocket in a
My ATM (Automated Teller Machine) card requires me to insert the chip card in a slot. The problems include:
- There are four possible orientations to insert the card. Only one of them works. It would not be that hard
to design the reader so all of them work.
- Reading requires physical contact. This gradually wears off the gold plating. It also requires that I periodically
clean the contact. Ideally the reader should work without physical contact.
- Even in large stores, sometimes the sale requires a dial-up connection which takes a long time. The connection should use encrypted Ethernet or WiFi (Wireless Fidelity).
- There should be a chute to direct your card into the proper slot. There 2 or 3 plausible slots to insert your card. Only one works.
- The dialog, and the various screen layouts, and the keyboards all differ for reader model. It would be good if these were more standardised.
It wastes time figuring out a new scheme with other shoppers lined up behind me.