Plastic cards have become the global standard for electronically purchasing goods and services. In the last 20 years insecure magnetic stripe and embossed numbering systems have been replaced by a secure electronic system of data and keys held on the smart card’s embedded chip. This standard was established and has been championed by EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa). These secure cards can be issued locally, for example in branch at the point of account opening, using desktop card printers fitted with the appropriate EMV encoding devices.
Logical access cards
EMV bank cards can be used with a logical access control reader to provide multi-factor authentication to online banking services. In addition to a password, the account holder can be asked to present a smart card with secure electronic keys to identify themselves; and for the highest level of transactional security, a biometric (with the template stored on the card) can also be requested.
Physical access cards
Bank cards based on a smart card platform can be used to access banking facilities such as out-of-hours deposit boxes or cash machine foyers, typically by fitting an appropriate smart card reader to the point of access.