Advantages & Disadvantages of Using Smart Cards

By Sheila Robinson

A smart card is a plastic card with a small, built in microcomputer chip and integrated circuit that can store and process a lot of data. It is considered to be a secure, time saving device that can access information without use of a PC or the Internet. However, smart cards have both advantages and disadvantages.


Smart cards have a lot of flexibility. They can store multiple types of information including identification, credit cards, business and family contacts.

Cost and Availability

Smart card readers are expensive to produce. These readers are not available in all locations and may have compatibility issues due to the differences of each smart card brand.


Smart cards are individually encrypted and can only be accessed by pin number. However, there is concern about privacy and whether or not information on the card could be accessed or used illegally by the government or other third-party sources.

Data Integrity

Information on a smart card cannot be erased or removed accidentally by any electrical or magnetic means.

Smart Card Uses

Smart cards are useful for setting limits on expenses, customizing customer loyalty programs and accessing critical health care information. Smart cards save users from having to remember multiple usernames and passwords.

References & Resources