The form of smart card technology that most everyone is familiar with is within the financial industry. Credit cards have been used by individuals worldwide to shop and make important purchases since the 1950s. Since then, credit cards have made way for the introduction of store charge cards and debit cards. All three of these technologies have helped to improve shopping experiences for customers and also helped to improve the retail industry for shop owners and large retail companies.
When processing a transaction, credit cards allow for purchase information to flow from a point of service in a retail store, restaurant, or an online merchant to a financial institution that tracks transactions for specific accounts. As we all know, credit cards linked to specific individuals or businesses. Although credit cards are not linked directly to funds, they offer the account holder a line of credit to make purchases. Often times, these lines of credit allow for large purchases, which makes them at risk for a security interruption. Furthermore, they are linked to important personal information such as social security numbers and private company information.
Unlike credit cards, debit cards are directly linked to an individual’s or business’s bank account and banking information. When a purchase is made, funds are taken directly out of the linked account in order to complete the transaction. In the case of a data breach of debit card information, people experience the impact much quicker than with credit cards, because their everyday funds are impacted. The introduction of smart card technology to credit cards and debit cards took place officially in 2015. From 2015 forward, all cards created were required to have smart card technology in the form of a credit card chip. Instead of a traditional strip, information for the linked account to create the transaction is stored in a chip. The chip encrypts the information making it more difficult for information to be swiped from untrustworthy sources. However, encrypted chips are not where smart card technology is stopping for credit cards and debit cards. Technology is being developed to incorporate both chips and fingerprinting to create ultra-secure transactions. For companies that are invested in credit cards and debit cards, taking advantage of this advancing technology, with a company like First Biometrics, is in their best interest.
In terms of protecting information, the government is a major industry that always strives to be the best, because they have a lot to lose. From classified information to personal individual information, the government needs to protect the information in their hands in order to protect their people. In recent years, smart card technology has played a key role in that.
Across the globe, countries are introducing smart card technology as a way to track individuals and ensure security when it comes to immigration. In the past, immigration documentation has been completed by paper or online, where individuals fill in information that is needed to allow their movement into another country. These immigration smart cards are embedded with biometrics that helps to verify the individual’s identity creating more confidence in allowing immigrants into a country. Furthermore, biometrics and smart card technology allow for a card to be scanned at certain checkpoints, sending information instantly to different government agencies. With the advancement in technology, First Biometrics will play a large role in this process going forward.
Much like immigration documents, passports for traveling from country to country hold information in a paper form. The only time this passport information is updated is when one receives a passport and then again when it is renewed. Currently, some countries are embedding their traditional passports with smart cards and biometric technology to ensure more safety for passport holders and other travelers. First Biometrics understands that biometrics and smart card technology are ideal for storing passport information because biometric technology is based on different templates. When installed into a passport, the information and the template used can be updated periodically to include all of the information deemed necessary at that time.
If there is one branch of the government that has significantly benefited from biometric and smart card technology, it is the military. Smart card technology and biometric information from First Biometrics have been embedded into identification cards, allowing for increased security at military locations around the world and for the secure transfer of military information. Common Access Cards or CAC cards as they are more well-known are the main forms of identification for active duty members, selected reserve, department of defense, and military contract persons. The common access card has been used for many years by the military and has stored important personal information in an encrypted way to prevent access of hackers to military databases. However, the incorporation of biometrics such as fingerprinting has allowed the security of these cards to be improved. Furthermore, biometrics make the cards more diverse, allowing for different templates to be embedded to cards that need access to certain locations or classified information.
Many large corporations serve as holding places for personal information not only for their employees but for their customers as well. As a company, it is their duty to protect this information to the best of their ability. In the past, employees and other personnel have been able to access corporate grounds and workstations after only producing a normal employee identification card. Fortunately, smart card technology has completely changed the face of corporate security.
Physical Access Cards / Logical Access Cards
While employee ID cards are used throughout an employee campus to help with physical security of the location, physical access or logical access cards are used to assist in the security of company information. Physical access cards plug into a system when one is attempting to access important, private information, company workstations, or database systems. Employees information is encrypted into the smart card technology as well as a template for what information that employee is allowed access to. This type of smart card technology has improved access issues for many corporations. First Biometrics is a leader in corporate security.
Employee ID Card
Employee Identification Cards have been in place at corporations for decades. They used to be used for a quick check of identification at the front door to allow employees in and out of secure areas, but they have evolved throughout the years. Currently, many corporations choose to include a smart card or biometric features from First Biometrics in their employee ID cards for many reasons. For one, smart card technology allows for employees to enter through a scanner or a card reader instead of a physical security employee. Not only does this cut down on cost, but it also cuts down on human error. Encrypted security, such as biometric security by First Biometrics, is not easily duplicated which makes it more difficult to pull off a successful breach of security.
When moving people from one place to another, security is important. Especially in an age when public places seem to be in danger of terrorist attacks or other devastating events. In an industry that relied on the purchase of paper tickets and traditional ID cards in the past, smart card technology has completely changed the face of transportation security.
Subway / Train Cards
Many large cities have begun to introduce smart traveling cards across their public transportation systems in order to increase security and create a more convenient means of travel for customers. Instead of having to buy tickets for the bus, ferry, subway or train, travelers instead only have to use one card that will allow them access to all. These traveling smart cards also allow for cities to better understand the habits of their travelers allowing them to create more efficient systems within their cities. First Biometrics and biometric cards will be a major player in the future of secure travel.
Airport Security Cards
Since 2001, airport security has completely changed and is constantly evolving. Many travelers have had to become accustomed to the lengthy process of getting through multiple gates and security checks and have adjusted to planning accordingly. As an answer to the problem, airports have started to offer airport security cards that allow passengers to bypass some of the long lines and get to their gate faster. Airport security cards are very similar in their technology to biometric cards that are utilized for identification. They hold important personal information regarding the individual such as where they have traveled recently, how long they have been a cardholder, and more. Additionally, these cards can be updated with relevant information as often as possible, and templates can be changed quickly to fit the need of airport security.
Event Security Cards
Every time a venue hosts an event, the needs of the security change. Therefore, they must have different ways of identifying who can be granted access to important event locations and who cannot. Fortunately, in recent years this problem has been solved by the introduction of smart card technology to event security cards. Event security cards can personalize access for every individual and track where they have been throughout the event venue. This type of technology improves safety for all event visitors. As the entertainment industry continues to need more security, cards like First Biometrics will play a large role in keeping these events as safe as possible.
The healthcare field is responsible for a large amount of important, private information. Personal health records, files and other information contain social security numbers and payment information. The healthcare industry must protect their information and patient information and as a result, this industry is already utilizing technology such as the biometric card with First Biometrics.
Patient / Hospital Security Cards
There is a lot at stake within the walls of a hospital and therefore everyone inside needs to have an official form of identification that is issued by the hospital. In the past, patient ID cards have been issued in the form of a bracelet that lists patient personal information that they must verbalize in order to verify their identification. This type of identification system made it easy for mistakes and mix-ups to happen with medication and other important information. However, the introduction of smart card technology to hospital identification has allowed for the storage of information all within one chip or barcode on a bracelet. When a patient is seen, the nurse or doctor may scan this chip to see the patient’s medical information and confirm identity. Not only do patients have ID cards at hospitals, but doctors, staff, and visitors do as well. When moving about the hospital, smart card technology allows all of these people to be tracked in order to ensure safety inside of the hospital and on the grounds.
Medical Insurance ID Cards
When processing medical insurance, it is important that all of the required information comes across correctly. If it does not, billing and benefits may be mistaken and the insured could suffer because of it. With the introduction of smart card technology to the medical insurance field, cards can store all insurance information in one central place, making it easy for processors to access and guarantees that it is correct. Furthermore, smart card technology helps to check the identity of the person using the medical insurance card and helps to reduce medical fraud. Across all industries, smart card technology has proven to be a very big benefit in many different markets. It helps to transmit information, protect information, and secure access to important information and locations. Overall smart card technology, like that provided by First Biometrics, is universal in increasing the security of many industries making consumers feel more confident in their endeavors. If you are a professional or business owner in one of these industries, you can see that making an investment in smart card technology with First Biometrics is not only essential but imperative.
Over the years and with the introduction of card technology, the hospitality industry has benefited greatly. From credit cards for making transactions, to hotel key cards for accessing rooms, and even casino cards that customers can load and play, it seems as if cards are everywhere.
Hotel Cards / Key Cards
In the 1970s after many complaints regarding hotel security around the world, the hotel key card was introduced. This first form of the key card was comprised of a series of hole punches that could be formed into unique patterns for every guest and room. Through the years, the hotel key card has evolved from hole punches to strips, to chips and even biometrics. Hotels with higher levels and more sophisticated forms of security often receive great reviews. Hotel guests want to feel safe, and with First Biometric’s secure system in place, they are ensured that safety. Furthermore, hotel key cards have even evolved so that they can allow for purchases and access to different areas of the hotel based on specific guests. This type of technology allows for the reduction or hotel security staff and simultaneously a more enjoyable experience for hotel guests and higher levels of customer satisfaction and repeat stays.
In similar fashion to the hotel key card, casino cards allow for guests to enjoy a casino at will. However, that is not all. Most current casino cards or “players cards” as they are known are embedded with smart card technology that contains the information of the cardholder. Not only does this let the cardholder load the card with funds to play casino games, but it also allows the casino to track its customers. Through smart card technology, casinos can identify which players are utilizing what machines or tables, how often they are frequenting them, and how much money they are investing every time. Smart cards allow casinos to reward customers for playing, enticing them to spend even more money and also provide the casino with beneficial data that it can use to improve the user experience.