Nowadays, businesses require data to be transferred quickly and constantly. Using smart cards is one way to achieve this. Smart cards are small plastic cards that contain an embedded chip that can carry out a number of different functions. Smart cards come in a variety of formats, so different smart card readers are required for different functions. Here are some of the types of card readers that are currently available:

Contactless Readers

The latest in smart card reader technology, contactless readers don’t require physical contact with the card in order to function. When the card is placed in close proximity to the reader, the two can ‘communicate’ using radio frequencies. Contactless smart cards are often found in the business environment for access and identification. They are also used on public transport and, increasingly, for credit card transactions. Contactless readers offer the kind of speed and convenience that other types of card reader are unable to.

Contact Readers

Contact readers have to have a physical connection with the smart card in order to operate. This is generally achieved by inserting the smart card into a slot in the reader. This type of card reader is commonly used in banking. Contact card readers have a number of advantages over contactless readers. Because a direct connection with the card is made, data can be transferred more securely. The direct connection also allows for higher transfer speed. Larger amounts of data can be transferred than would be possible with a contactless machine.

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