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What Is a Smart SIM Card?

A phone that works with a smart SIM card.
Some sim cards are packaged inside of a larger card in order to protect them from damage before use.
SIM card.
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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A smart SIM card is a small piece of technology with many big uses. Whether boosting cell phone memory or allowing secure mobile bank transactions, these small chips are a popular component in many industries. Lightweight construction and massive memory capacities help them edge out traditional smart card technology.

A traditional SIM card is a small card with an embedded microchip that allows it to process data. Sim cards are constructed of PVC plastic, and many feature a hologram for authentication purposes. Each card has unique smart card encryption in order to provide security. A smart SIM card provides the same features but has a larger capacity for memory and speed than a traditional SIM card. These most commonly are found within cell phones but are becoming more popular in identification and credit cards.

A cell phone is the most likely place to find a smart SIM card, which typically is the size of a postage stamp and located securely behind the battery. The GSM phone has been utilizing this technology more than other phones, and it provides an instant boost in performance to any model holding it. Most smart cards come with about 65 kilobytes of memory, nearly double other SIM cards. The card also has the capacity for storing up to 250 phone numbers, compared to most SIM cards' bank of 100. The encryption option also allows for storing passwords and user IDs securely.

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Banking has increased its security in two distinct ways by using the smart SIM card. Mobile phone banking is much more secure thanks to cards that many allow users to pull funds directly from a bank account to pay the phone bill. Bank cards are utilizing this technology as well, normally visibly displaying a chip on the front of a debit or credit card that can be scanned. Its increased encryption technology helps prevent fraud and identity theft.

Identity cards also benefit from this technology. Some governments place a smart SIM card chip on identification cards, such as drivers licenses that contain up-to-date records of driving offenses when scanned. Institutions such as healthcare companies also have utilized the technology on their cards as a way of keeping patient records and identities secure. As this technology expands, there seems to be no limit to the ways it can be utilized for security and memory.

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