Contact smart cards have a contact area, comprising several gold-plated contact pads, that is about 1cm square. When inserted into a reader, the chip makes contact with electrical connectors that can read information from the chip and write information back. The contact smart cards are secured better comparing to contactless smart cards. They are widely used for the bank cards.
Contactless smart cards do not have a contact chip on the card surface. These cards do not require the physical contact of the card and reader, they require only close proximity of the card and the card reader to cmplete transaction. They are often used when transactions must be processed quickly or hands-free, such as on mass transit systems, where smart cards can be used without even removing them from a wallet. The contactless smart cards are used as transport cards, identification cards, door access cards in the hotels and similar. Being the less secured comparing to contact smart cards they are not used by banks.
How to print on smart cards?
Printing on contact ISO smart cards with microprocessor chip:
When printing on the face side of the card with the chip avoid placing the visual information on the chip. Preparing ID card design make sure that your artwork is not on the chip but around it. The chip position and height are specified by ISO standard, and your artwork must be sized to proper smart card dimensions taking into account the chip position. Set up the card printer driver so that protective varnish is not placed on the chip. Please find below pictures showing how to do this for Evolis and Zebra printers. For other printers please read the corresponding documentation.
Printing on the back side of the smart card do not use very strong colors. Avoid using colors on the back of the chip. The back surface in the place of the the chip is usually not flat, and the printing quality will suffer. It is recommended to leave this place white or very light colored.