Applications of Smart Cards
Smart Cards and the Java
Cards provide a new set of technologies with a great deal of promise.
Smart Cards provide a secure, portable platform for "any time, anywhere"
computing that can carry and manipulate substantial amounts of data, especially
an individual's personal digital identity. Java's portability allows Smart
Cards to become a general-purpose computing platform and creates a potentially
huge market for application software and development. Whether this market
will diversify in the way personal computing has remains to be seen.
Still, there are some clearly defined markets that will adopt Smart
Cards in the next few years. The most immediate areas in which Smart Cards
have been establishing their positions include:
Financial services - Financial institutions are looking to use Smart
Cards to deliver higher value-added services to businesses and consumers
at a lower cost per transaction. These services include money on a card,
corporate card programs, and targeted marketing programs based on analysis
of consumers' buying patterns.
Affinity programs - Airlines, retailers, and other companies that
offer a range of ancillary services and loyalty programs along
with their basic product want to use Smart Cards to deliver these programs
with a higher level of service, improved ease of use, and at a lower cost.
For example, airlines want to use Smart Cards not only as a vehicle for
issuing and carrying tickets - even though the single benefit of being
able to securely order/provide a ticket directly to chip cards via the
Internet is substantial. Airlines also want to use the cards to provide
tie-ins to their frequent-flyer programs and to cross-marketing deals with
auto rentals and hotels, as well as to provide simplified access to private
Cellular phones - Cellular phone services in the United States are
losing $1.5 million per day because of fraud. Although Smart Cards offer
a mechanism to secure cellular phones against fraudulent use, only Java
Cards offer the ability to download new functions into a phone in real
Set-top boxes - Subscription satellite and cable services suffer
from fraud problems similar to those in the cellular phone business. Once
again, Java Cards offer security and the ability to add/update customer
functions available to consumers in real time.
Other Applications of Smart Cards and Java Card technology include: Government,
Healthcare, Information Technology, Mobile Communication, Banking, Loyalty
Programs, Mass Transit, Driving Licensing, Electronic Toll Collection,
Telephone Cards, etc.
Secure network access - Smart Cards can carry an individual's digital
signature. With this ability, they provide a special mechanism to
secure access to computer networks within a corporation, they help ensure
that only individuals with the proper authority can get access to specific
network resources, and they reduce the likelihood that hackers can break
into a system.