A smart card reader is a device used to read data from, and write data to, a smart card. A smart card is a product usually containing information about its owner. A smart card reader generally interacts with a computer while the reader performs its processes on the card.
A smart card reader works through a number of procedures. First, the computer to which the card reader is attached should recognize the said device. This is done by installing the driver of the smart card reader into the computer.
Next, the card and the card reader have to come into contact with one another. This can be done in two ways: landing contact and friction contact. Smart card readers with landing contact features require the card to be entirely inserted into the slot. The contact then lands on the card’s microprocessor and performs the specified task. On the other hand, smart card readers with friction contact only require the card to be wiped on the slot in order for it to be read.
After the reader and the card come into contact, the reader then sends information to the card. The card does a similar process. If the pieces of information do not match, the transaction will be cancelled and no further exchange will take place. Otherwise, the reader will proceed to the process of retrieving or adding data to the card. The reader then confirms completion of the transaction and waits for the next process.
To provide added security, smart card readers incorporate a set of advanced features. These include PIN entry, secure display, and fingerprint recognition scanners.