Contact smart cards are identified by a gold or silver chip that is visible on the card body. Much like a computer, this chip contains its own operating system, profile and card file structure that varies from application to application. These cards are named contact due to the fact that they physically need to be inserted into a smart card reader to make contact with a mechanism, for the most secure mode of encrypted communication. Contact cards can be secure or non-secure memory cards or microprocessor smart cards such as a Java Card.

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