Trends in the smart card payment industry — chip innovations drive new applications and services

May 21, 2014 // By Björn Scharfen, Infineon Technologies
To an ever increasing extent, modern society is benefiting from the use of connected mobile devices and chip-based smart cards for cashless payment applications, an increasing proportion of which are contactless. However, even these devices are becoming more and more vulnerable to security attacks, and require hardware-based security chips working hand in hand with software and system security features to provide state-of-the-art barriers against unauthorized access and misuse.

Regional markets differ in their requirements with respect to applications and technologies, so high-performance, innovative chip solutions are key drivers for the continuously growing and very dynamic payment market. And, independent of the form used for payment, be it a smart card or a mobile phone, the protection of the customer’s credentials against manipulation and fraud is key to any successful implementation.

The payment chip-card market shows a clear trend towards contactless and converging applications. Contactless payment can be performed with smart cards as well as with mobile devices. In particular, the demand for Dual Interface (DIF) payment cards is growing. These cards are equipped with a contact-based interface to support traditional payment transactions, but at the same time they offer a contactless interface to perform access, transport or micropayment roles.

Figure 1: Worldwide, payment cards are migrating to chip-based solutions with strong Dual Interface growth (Source: IHS, “Payment and Banking Cards-World-2013”, August 2013).
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