Biometric smart card protects biometric data and provides a
reliable solution where there are privacy concerns. Fingerprints are an ideal
credential for logical access control to computer networks and fingerprint
templates never leave a smart card unprotected.
Integrating a biometric sensor into a smart card reader makes sense because
it is more convenient to combine a smart card reader with a fingerprint scanner
in one integrated device. Fingerprint sensors in smart card readers enhance
security by bringing the biometric sensor physically closer to the smart card
system. In case of a "match on a card" (MOC) system, they stay inside the card
from the time of first enrollment.
Smart Cards are ideal to store templates, make them portable and validate the
identity of the card holder. Those templates can either be matched on the host
system, on an intelligent smart card reader, or on the card istself via match on
Magnetic stripe cards. A magnetic stripe card has
a strip of magnetic tape material attached to its surface. This is the standard
technology used for bank cards and can only store data which cannot be updated.
Optical cards. Optical cards use some form of
laser to read and write to the card.
Memory cards. Memory cards can store a variety of
data, including financial, personal, and specialized information, but cannot
Microprocessor cards. Smart cards with
microprocessors look like standard plastic cards, but are equipped with an
embedded Integrated Circuit (IC) chip. They can store information, carry out
local processing on the data stored, and perform complex calculations. These
cards take the form of either "contact" cards (which require a card reader) or
"contactless" cards (which use radio frequency signals to operate).