How Contactless Cards Work

A contactless card or contactless smart card is a type of transaction card in the shape of a credit card. In addition to banking cards, cards of this technology are used in passports and transit passes or electronic ticketing systems.

In 1995, contactless smart card technology was used for the first time in the electronic ticketing system in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. Since then, the use of this card has increased in the communication system of different countries of the world.

Currently, this technology is being used in many countries in America, Canada and Europe as well as in many countries in Asia.

Contactless smart card called ‘Rapid Pass’ has started in Bangladesh since 2018. Passengers can currently pay fares using their Rapid Pass card on government transport plying on several routes in Dhaka.

Again, with the increase in the use of this technology in the communication system, contactless cards have also started to be used in the banking sector. Starting from 2005, all famous financial service companies such as Visa, American Express or Mastercard are launching their own contactless cards on the market. But so far only small payments can be made through this card.

How card payments are made using aircraft tracking technology.

A tap on a contactless card in the UK transfers £30 in seconds. For many, it works. Many people have fears about this technology. But what technology actually works in this straightforward payment system?

Contactless cards use radio frequency identification (RFID). Due to the popularity of RFID payment such as instore cards, the demand for its equipment has increased these days.

RFID actually uses radio waves to transfer encoded digital data. To make this type of contactless payment, a connection needs to be made between the card and the card reader.

There is no need to make contact if the devices are close enough for connection. This close proximity data transmission is called Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

Payments with NFC have increased especially with smartphones.

Due to the rapid advancement of this technology in recent times, many people are becoming interested in RFID.

It started, however, a few centuries ago, during World War II. It is said that a man named Sir Robert Watson-Watt was the first to figure out how to transfer data through radio.

He noticed this method while leaking information about war aircraft. Its radar could identify the fighter jets and provide important information about the aircraft such as its size or whether it was an enemy or friendly aircraft.

Then the use of RFID expanded further, when its commercial use began.

A complex version of this technology was released in 1973. It had active tags and its memory could be written repeatedly. As the use of RFID began to grow, it was seen in a wide variety of applications. RFID technology is now being used for everything from tracking the transport of nuclear materials to identifying cows on farms.

How does this technology work?

Contactless cards contain small microchips. This chip contains account information. The area of ​​the microchip is enlarged with a copper wire to facilitate signal reception.

Bidirectional connection.

Radio waves are emitted from the card reader. When the card is held at a certain distance, the card reader can read the transaction details from the card. Then the microchip in the card reader sends a signal containing the payment details. Thus the transaction is completed.

Top secret coding

Encrypted language is used to communicate to prevent cloning.

How to avoid fraud

Once they get used to the contactless lifestyle, many people don’t want to leave. Many people forget about the danger. Note that when making payments is so easy, digital pickpockets also benefit.

There is a $5 app that has over a million downloads. With this app, credit card details of all people within a certain range are available. Such data theft with RFID is called skimming.

There are many precautions to ensure data security in contactless mode. Ekster has a wallet that blocks data transmission. It is actually an aluminum card holder. Placing the card here prevents radio waves from passing through the aluminum sheet.

Despite minor security risks, contactless cards continue to make our lives easier. According to calculations made in 2020, the market value of contactless cards around the world is about 10.3 billion dollars.

According to a survey, its market value will increase to 18 billion dollars by 2025. How do you think this technology will benefit everyday life if it becomes more prevalent in the future?

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