Smart Card Based End-to-end Solutions


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The successful launch of the new program helped FNBO realize immediate savings over the original 125 kHz solution. The lower cost per card implementation achieved through innovative engineering designs also allowed for deeper penetration of co-branded credit cards, increasing volume without adding new hardware. Furthermore, by utilizing Data Card Group's hosting services and support teams, FNBO was able to launch its program in a very short time frame.

The ability for FNBO to quickly migrate from a 125 kHz Proximity solution to 13.56MHz MIFARE DESFire smart cards was only made possible with Data Card Group's total solution approach and consultative approach in card design, issuance, provisioning, hosting services, and support.

Transitioning from 125kHz Proximity to 13.56MHz MIFARE DESFire

FNBO's first smart card implementation for its Credit Rewards Program was 125 kHz Proximity, but it wanted to migrate to 13.56 MHz MIFARE DESFire cards without needing new card issuing hardware or utilizing expensive software upgrades. The higher security, flexibility, and speed of the MIFARE DESFire solution also makes this transition attractive for other projects planned down the road. FNBO had great success with their original 125kHz Proximity implementation using Data Card Group. They were confident they could achieve similar results with Datacard Group's latest offering in contactless technology - the MIFARE DESfire platform from NXP Semiconductors (formerly Philips Semiconductors) used in the Datacard IDvantage reader.

Do you want to save time and money on your monthly utility bill

Geolance is a smart card that can help you do just that. It's the perfect solution for people who want to cut their costs, while still getting all of their essential services. With Geolance, you can check your credit or balance, pay bills online, and even make purchases without having to go into a store. Plus, it's compatible with any device!

With Geolance, you can rest assured knowing your data is safe from hackers because it's not stored in an external location on another device - it's stored securely inside your card! And if you want to get rid of your old credit card, all you need to do is insert it into our card reader and follow these simple instructions. You'll never have to worry about carrying around another piece of equipment again! Plus, Geolance is perfect for traveling - just pop it into the slot at the top of your passport or ID and you're a good go!

MIFARE DESFire Solution Provides Flexibility for Future Growth

The MIFARE DESFire smart cards enable FNBO to support not only credit rewards but also other future programs such as a solid waste rebate program scheduled for roll-out this summer. The flexibility of the MIFARE DESFire platform enables FNBO to offer additional opportunities within its community while growing customer satisfaction levels.

The 13.56MHz MIFARE DESfire family is a flexible solution that offers an upgrade path for existing 125kHz Proximity solutions as well as a stepping-stone for new programs. The MIFARE DESFire platform is built upon the ISO/IEC 14443 Type-A standard, which has been proven to be highly interoperable and compatible with other smart card operating systems. The multi-application design allows customers to deploy a single smart card, back it with an application developer kit (ADK), and support numerous applications on a single smart card.

Unparalleled Industry Expertise Brings Total Solution Approach

Datacard Group's latest offering in 13.56MHz MIFARE technology is supported by Data Card Group's industry expertise in secure payment solutions as well as its extensive knowledge of EMV specifications, host interface standards, and technical specifications. With Data Card Group's hosting services, customers can focus on the business they do best without worrying about connectivity issues or managing the migration process to the next generation of smart cards.

MIFARE DESFire - The Future of Secure NFC Applications

With MIFARE DESFire, FNBO has access to an entirely new world of secure NFC applications with NXP's innovative SmartMX security microcontroller. Whether it is contactless payment loyalty, access control for buildings or transit systems, smart posters that deliver relevant messages or advertisements based on location information obtained through GPS, RFID tags embedded into products that enable real-time tracking and tracing of its movement through logistics networks--the possibilities are endless.

125kHz (proximity) vs. 13.56MHz (MIFARE DESFire)

The choice between proximity and MIFARE DESFire largely depends on what type of application is needed and the existing public key infrastructure in place. Generally speaking, 125kHz Proximity will provide a more cost-effective solution for applications that do not require secure transaction processing or host connectivity, while smart cards using NXP's innovative MIFARE DESFire platform offer greater functionality at a slightly higher price point when compared to 125kHz contactless solutions.

56MHz (Smartcard) vs. 13.56MHz (MIFARE DESFire)

The choice between the 56MHz/13.56MHz smart card standard largely depends on where the application is being deployed, as well as whether or not secure NFC applications are required. The 13.56MHz MIFARE DESFire platform supports both secure and non-secure NFC services, while a 56kHz-enabled smart card can only function in a contactless interface with no transaction processing capabilities - i.e., authentication of user credentials or payment transactions without on-card intelligence that supports cryptographic functions such as dynamic data encryption, mutual authentication, and message integrity check functions.

13.56MHz MIFARE DESFire - Secure Contactless Payment Solution

The PayShield Suite includes a standard version of the versatile PayShield Tokenization Platform along with an NFC-enabled Datacard 350i contact smart card printer to produce secure plastic tokens representing credit cards being tokenized in real-time at the point-of-sale during transactions using FNBO's MIFARE DESFire-enabled point-of-sale (POS) system. Customers using this solution enjoy the benefits of tokenization without requiring any changes to infrastructure or programming of existing payment application software. For merchants, the process is completely transparent during both card-present and card-not-present transactions at all merchant locations accepting MIFARE cards.

13.56MHz Contactless Access Control Solution

A new way to control access to buildings, secure room facilities, or transit systems is by converting mechanical keys into digital ones through contactless smart tokens that can be securely provisioned on a Datacard IDev 300i proximity contact smart card printer in real-time without requiring any changes to existing hardware along with host connectivity interface modules for integration with access control readers.

13.56MHz Transit Solution

Existing fare collection infrastructures can be upgraded to contactless smart cards using FNBO's MIFARE DESFire technology enabling transit card replacement without requiring any changes to existing hardware or software at a fraction of the cost of developing a new solution from scratch. In addition, riders themselves will benefit from convenient one-card type systems that do not require carrying multiple farecards for different public transit systems, as well as having direct access to their account balance and authorization history through online web portals provided by the respective transit authority - both benefits aimed at enhancing overall security and ease-of-use ultimately benefiting riders themselves. 13.56MHz Rail Solution.

Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is a cool way of saying "two different ways to prove you're you." The most common example is something you have (like a bankcard) plus something you know (like your PIN). Security pros refer to these factors as 'something you have' and 'something you know.' Add a third factor - like 'somewhere you are' or proximity - and that's three factors. Need more info? Here are some resources:

Smart Card Applications for your Employees

Employee smart cards provide secure access to the corporate network, decentralized workforce management, online time & attendance tracking, e-mail access, website logon approvals for VPN/extranet logons plus secure email encryption. When used to support two-factor authentication, smart cards can provide a "third factor" to ensure the person trying to access your network is an employee.

What about the costs

Advanced smart card technology has already been deployed by many of our public transit systems and proximity-based contactless smart cards are now being used around the world for trusted identity, electronic wallets & payment, keyless building entry, and even high tech game consoles like Sony Playstation 3. With NFC (Near Field Communications) on its way into all new smartphones (and even some PDA's), this is also an affordable investment that doesn't require any changes or upgrades to existing hardware since it works with the same MIFARE DESFire technologies that you already use today. So if you are looking to upgrade your current system or equip your agency with next-generation technology, now is a perfect time.

What is MIFARE DESFire

MIFARE DESFire's features include high security, flexibility & scalability, and compatibility with existing infrastructures for applications ranging from ticketing to access control. The growing momentum behind this technology ensures that it will be used by systems across the world for years to come since it offers a wide range of benefits:

Flexible, scalable, and secure contactless transport solutions (13.56MHz) that meet and exceed transit industry standards and provide long-term investment protection.

Designed to be eminently suitable for the world's largest mass transit systems which require scalable, multi-application interoperability.

Flexible - provides integrated system components over a range of costs and technologies allowing customers to grow the solution to meet future demands quickly without costly upgrades.

Robust security features include mutual three-way authentication ensuring that both parties in an interaction are genuine.

Industry-standard technology with the wide availability of tools and expertise so you can benefit from quick time to market.

Card technology security comparison

There are three levels of security for contactless smart cards, the higher the level the more secure it is. Level 1 cards can be cloned easily and often do not contain any internal circuitry. Level 2 cards require special equipment to copy an existing card because they have a rewritable chip inside them that cannot be copied by hand. When using multi-application cards it is possible to configure an application with higher security than another e.g., you may want your bus fare collection system to run on a lower security protocol than other applications running on the same card so that there isn't unnecessary processing time wasted when collecting fares at stations or stops.

MIFARE Classic® 4K The MIFARE Classic® 4K format provides 888 bytes of user memory for storing data.

MIFARE Classic® ev1 The MIFARE Classic® ev1 format provides 1,500 bytes of user memory for storing data.

NXP MF1 ICODE SLI A 2Kb memory area is set aside on the NXP MF1 ICODE SLI chip to store information specific to each card issuer e.g., an airline or transit authority. Application data may also be stored in this zone if it is related to company-specific applications which are common today with some contactless smartcards that are used for access control at the office, but used as public transport cards when out of range of their hard-wired smart card readers. By contrast, the user memory zone (which is still present in the MF1 ICODE SLI) provides a total of 8,760 bytes.

MIFARE Plus® X The MIFARE Plus® X format provides 2,304 bytes of user memory for storing data.

About NXP Semiconductors

NXP Semiconductors (Formerly known as Philips Semiconductors) enables secure connections for a smarter world, advancing solutions that make lives easier, better, and safer. As the world leader in secure connectivity solutions for embedded applications, NXP is driving innovation in the secure connected vehicle, end-to-end security & privacy, and smart connected solutions markets. With more than 60 years' expertise in hi-tech communications, NXP has a unique portfolio to address rapidly evolving customer needs. In addition, the company provides a wide range of semiconductor and system solutions for applications that require high security and privacy such as automotive safety & braking, protection of personal data, identity cards, and payment transactions in mobile phones with digital certificates.

MIFARE products are designed specifically to enable secure transactions in access control, ticketing, identification, transportation, and contactless payments markets where performance and reliability are a must. NXP Mifare is a leading player in this field with over 100 million devices shipped worldwide. The MIFARE product line offers many different bit rate ranges (between 106bps to 848 kbps) including ISO standard 14443A/B compatibility which enables multi-application interoperability.

A $21B market in 2023

With a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 25% over the next five years, and expected market size of $21 billion by 2023, and a need for interoperability between different contactless technologies, there is a real opportunity for developers to build solutions that will connect end-users in exciting new ways while making lives more convenient.

Embedded software development has always been about creating innovative solutions. In the fast-moving world of connected devices, it's even more important to keep up with changing standards and specifications so your product can be future-proofed. The smart card technology found in MIFARE PLUS® EV1 & MIFARE Classic® 4K cards provides all the benefits required for developing security-critical applications such as those found in transportation, identity, or access control.

What is a smart card

A smart card is a plastic IC card with embedded integrated circuits that can process data and make decisions based on stored information. By combining low-cost storage and processing with small size, cards have evolved to where they are now able to store large amounts of data and handle complex applications such as contactless payments or transit ticketing. In the past, independent vendors developed proprietary security algorithms for their products but this lack of an open standard created compatibility issues between devices from different vendors which hurt interoperability. As a result, standards bodies including EMVCoL, GSM Association ( GSMA ) and Secure Computing Corporation ( SCC ) worked together to create a standard that would guarantee security and interoperability between devices – the widely adopted ISO 7816. This standard defines two card types: T = The encryption key is held in a secure tamper-resistant module within the card and is used to securely store data. M = The encryption key is stored in a user-programmable memory zone of the smart card. These cards are unencrypted but can be locked by an administrator by manipulating the card keys, enabling higher levels of security.

The development of ever more complex systems such as electronic payment techniques and improved Internet access has led to a growing need for smart cards with greater processing capabilities than those provided by traditional contactless technologies like MIFARE or ISO 14443A/B. For this reason, NXP designed the MIFARE PLUS® family of smart cards. These feature the highest degree of security for applications that require advanced cryptographic algorithms or require compliance with international standards like ISO 7816-4, EMVCoL, or GSM 11.11.

MIFARE Plus products are built on NXP's core MIFARE Classic platform which has been deployed worldwide for over ten years in transit ticketing applications across 20 countries by more than 30 enterprise customers. The highly scalable architecture supports bit rates from 106 bits per second (bps) up to 848 kbps and enables developers to implement high volume contactless payment systems as well as applications requiring different data transfer speeds within a single contactless card. Additional protocol support is available through customer-specific hardware that's designed into the contactless smart card.

MIFARE Plus is available in five memory configurations: 4 KB, 8 KB, 16 KB, 32 KB, and 64 KB with each product implementing one of the following security levels: S0 / D = Supports ISO 7816-4 for authentication or encryption using DES or 3DES algorithms. Suitable for payment applications. S2 = Provides compliance to pre-EMVCoL 2.1 specifications which include swiping performance at 5 inches per second (IPS). Applicable to financial transactions where data is sent between the terminal and the reader using magnetic stripe emulation technology. S3 = The highest level currently available that provides compliance to EMVCoL 2.1 specification which includes two-way interoperability with ISO 14443A/B. Applicable to transit ticketing environments or other systems where contactless cards are allowed to communicate in both directions with the terminal.

NXP's MIFARE Plus products are available in five form factors: DR = A dual-interface card that combines traditional magnetic stripe smartcard technology with either S0 or S2 security features for compatibility between existing and new payment terminals. SR = A single-interface contactless smart card that implements either S0 or S3 security features providing two-way biometric data exchange protocols via ISO 14443A/B technology. MR1 = A single-interface contactless smart card that provides an even simpler solution than previous generations of MIFARE Classic devices by including only basic memory and security features required for card management and authentication. Please refer to the table below for specific memory configuration differences between MIFARE Classic and MIFARE Plus smart banking cards. MR2 = A dual-interface contactless smart card that provides both S0 and S3 functionality as well as traditional ISO 14443A/B technology offering additional memory storage capabilities, providing the highest possible level of interoperability with existing ISO 14443A / B compatible multi-technology readers.

DI = A dual-interface contactless smart card that combines ISO 7816-4 compatibility via an embedded microcontroller with either S0 or S3 security features implemented in a single device. This unique architecture makes it ideal for applications that require traditional magnetic stripe read/write functionality such as loyalty programs, virtual payment systems, and access control.

MIFARE Plus contactless smart cards can be used as a fully functioning USIM for GSM wireless devices with MIFARE's USIM Development Kit (SDK) application code running on the card's microcontroller. Combined with NXP's secure Element Management System (EMS), this enables consumers to easily configure and personalize the software environment within their wireless device using over-the-air technology, just like many current SIM cards available today. The MIFARE Plus product family is also backward compatible with existing MIFARE Classic applications enabling manufacturers of contactless point-of-sale terminals or vending machines to offer both platform options without having to upgrade their reader hardware. By providing improved security and more memory resources, MIFARE Plus products provide a cost-effective solution that can help existing customers migrate to the latest contactless technology while maintaining their current reader infrastructure.

About smart cards and Green IT technologies

The Green IT concept can help organizations to reduce their environmental impact. According to a Dutch study by the TNO organization, every smart card that is replaced today emits 5 times less CO2 during its entire life cycle than a 'dumb' card. Combined with the fact that contactless platforms offer additional energy savings due to reduced power consumption from readers and shorter transaction time, it becomes clear how smart cards play an important role in Green IT strategies. Coupled with MIFARE Plus enhanced security features like Mutual 3 Way Handshake protections for PIN verification, digital signature validation on the application level, use of AES encryption algorithm or multiple out-of-field multi-factor authentication methods; security safeguards are improved even further which make this family ideal for government applications such as passports and visa applications, electronic payment systems like PayWave or SmartPass, public transportation tickets, and access control solutions.

About NXP Semiconductors

NXP Semiconductors N.V. ( NASDAQ: NXPI) provides High-Performance Mixed Signal and Standard Product solutions that leverage its leading RF, Analog, Power Management, Interface, Security, and Digital Processing expertise. These innovations are used in a wide range of automotive, identification, wireless infrastructure, lighting, industrial, mobile, consumer and computing applications.

Smart card dimensions and major standards

Standard size MIFARE Classic (RF) smart cards are available in the following dimensions:

ISO/IEC 7810 ID-1 (85.6 x 54 mm; ISO card thickness 3)

ISO/IEC 7816 ID-000 (79.4 x 53 mm; ISO card thickness 0.76, chip embedded)

MIFARE DESFire (contact and contactless version, both within ANSI Card Format X-Dimension), CN3 (G&D Smart Card Systems Ltd.), and the NXP JAVELIN™ product family all fall into this category.

However, even for standard-size cards, it is important to check that they are truly compatible with each other before making any design or production decisions.

NXP offers a variety of development platforms for MIFARE Plus contactless smart cards jointly with our Industry Business partner NXP Semiconductors, allowing developers to easily evaluate multiple applications and establish their functional boundaries.

Tell me the history of smart cards

The first smart card was developed in 1976 by Schlumberger Ltd. It has been used in France since the early '80s and is still in use today for banking applications. Prior to that time, most transactions were handled manually with cash or check - this was inefficient and expensive.

The microprocessor-based cards can be programmed to perform complex transactions without requiring intervention from a human operator. This reduces errors, speeds up service, and cuts costs for banks, retailers, governments, and anyone else who uses smart card technology for security or identification purposes.

How are smart cards used

From a user standpoint, smart cards can be used in place of cash and credit cards. The difference is that debits and credits are electronically stored on the card instead of being written to paper. Smart cards also may contain some personal information about their owners, such as medical history or financial status.

What is the future of contactless cards

The contactless smart card market will likely grow rapidly over the next few years due to several forces:

An increasing number of RFID tags embedded in consumer products (e.g., clothing)

Convergence between mobile phones and NFC-based mobile payment applications

Continuing standardization efforts by ISO/IEC JTC1/SC31 WG4 'Contactless integrated circuit cards'

Increasing interest in contactless smart cards by financial institutions and technology companies

Further increase in the level of security required for payment and ticketing applications

MIFARE Plus is a member of the MIFARE product family which has been designed to offer various options based on the ISO 14443 A/B frequency. The NXP JAVELIN™ MIFARE Plus device supports both 13.56 MHz (ISO/IEC 14443A) as well as 125 kHz (ISO/IEC 14443B). This allows developers to choose the best-performing option according to market needs, price points, existing infrastructure, future proof strategy, and chip availability. For example, many NFC-enabled mobile phones now come equipped with 13.56 MHz readers so developers can take advantage of this existing infrastructure.

What is the main difference between contactless cards and contact cards

Contactless smart card technology offers many of the same benefits as contact-type smart cards but without the physical connection required for standard smart card transactions.

The electrical contacts used on most smart cards are replaced with an RF antenna. This allows information to be transmitted wirelessly when near a device that contains an antenna matching the frequency range of the contactless smart card (ISO 14443 or ISO 15693). Mobile phone manufacturers today offer NFC chipsets capable of wirelessly interfacing with both high-frequency (13.56 MHz) and low-frequency (125 kHz) contactless smart cards.

What is the difference between ISO 14443 A/B

ISO 14443 defines two contactless interface standards for proximity smart card communications: Type A and Type B. The Mifare family of devices complies with all requirements of both types, including both frequency bands (125 kHz and 13.56 MHz). Both types are covered by ISO standard 14443. There are some slight differences in physical dimensions however this does not affect the compatibility of devices within each type.

Who uses contactless cards

Contactless smart card technology has many applications which can be grouped into two main categories:

Consumer Applications - Contactless smart cards are used to make secure payments for items such as shopping or public transportation fares while giving users the convenience of contactless transactions.

Secure Applications - Contactless smart cards are particularly useful when security is a top priority, such as in applications for governments, defense forces, and other organizations that fall within critical infrastructure sectors.

Why use NFC on smart cards

There are many benefits to using NFC on smart card technology:

No need to enter PINs or passwords

Contactless (no physical connection required)

Portable (can be carried on a keychain or in a wallet)

Inexpensive (costs less than contact smart cards)

Holds significant amounts of information (minimizes the number of cards needed) Figure 1: MIFARE® DESFire® MF3ICD40 NFC IC Card

NFC-enabled Android mobile phones can be used today to read MIFARE® DESFire® (MF3ICD40) contactless smart cards. The two most popular Java Card applets for accessing information stored on these types of cards are:

T4A - Used to encrypt and decrypt data stored on the chip

HCE - enables applications to run directly on a mobile phone without installation or provisioning by an IT department Figure 1 shows how it is possible to use NFC to scan an MF3ICD40 card with an NFC-enabled Android mobile phone.

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