The Evolution from Smart Cards to Smartphones - dummies

The Evolution from Smart Cards to Smartphones

By Robert R. Sabella

Folks use smart cards for all sorts of purposes. Among the most common uses are riding the subway, buying something at the store, identifying ourselves, gaining access into a building, and securely sharing our health care records. The smart card technology saw its first use in 1970 and has gained acceptance since that time by many different institutions.

The contactless technology that Near Field Communication (NFC) provides emulates a smart card using card mode on a smartphone. That means that you don’t need a separate card any longer when making smart card transactions. The smart card is in your phone. So all you really need is a single device — your smartphone with NFC-enabled technology.

When making a payment anywhere that accepts contactless payments, for example, you were previously limited to using just your NFC smart cards. These same locations now accept payments using your NFC phone.

This evolution from smart cards to smart phones is following the same generational and revolutionary trend toward everything going mobile, or more simply put, people can no longer live without their smartphones. The single best source of information on all things related to smart cards and NFC is the Smart Card Alliance. That organization continuously releases quality information on all these related topics, so check with it frequently.