What It Is
Smart cards and credit cards are basically the same except for the fact smart cards contain a smart chip inside them (see graphic below, chip is on the left side of the center blue logo) that secures personal information about the cardholder making for easier and more secure purchases both in the retail and Internet industries.
For detailed information about Smart cards:
How It Works
Smart cards work pretty much the same as a credit card except this solution can make web purchasing much more easier. Many people don’t like to have to constantly complete the order form questions for each purchase they make. With your computer coupled with a smart card reader you can easily slip in your smart card and it will automatically complete the order form questions (cardholder name, address, card number, exp. date, etc.) thus saving you valuable time. Smart cards are much more secure than traditional credit cards. Many smart cards have the card number inside the “smart chip” processor rather than on the outside and will not allow access to the information without the proper password. As a result decreasing the amount of credit card fraud.
Otherwise, processing a Smart card is no different then processing your traditional credit card with the magnetic strip on the back, nor does it cost any more or less to process than traditional credit cards — All the same rates and fees apply.
Who Needs This Solution?
Smart cards have been used in Europe for quite some time and have just recently moved into the US market. Most all newer credit card processing terminals will support smart card swiping and so will Internet transaction processors, also. No new equipment or services are usually needed unless your retail establishment uses an older swipe terminal.
Your swipe terminal equipment NOT Smart Card compliant? It may be possible to connect a Smart Card Reader/Writer, either a handheld or desktop device similar in appearance to a PIN Pad that reads the microchip in the Smart card, to your current swipe terminal. Some older terminals may end up needing replaced with a newer unit.
NOTE: If you’re also shopping around for a PIN Pad for Debit/ATM card processing, you’ll find that many Smart Card readers double as PIN Pads, also. Check above links for details.
Smart Card Processing Resources
Many existing Merchant Account Providers will be able to set you up to accept Smart Cards if you are interested.