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Smart card system design requires advance planning to be successful and to avoid problems. It is highly recommended that you graphically diagram the flow of information for your new system. The first question to consider is 'will the card and system transact information, or value, or both?' If it stores keys or value, greater design detail is required than in data-only systems. When you combine information types on a single card, other issues arise. The key to success is not to overrun the system with features that can confuse users and cause problems in management. It is recommended that you phase-in each feature set as each one is working. To properly implement a functional smart card system, you should be able to answer the following questions.
Large distributed multifunction systems require lots of advance planning to make them effective. Smart cards often act as the glue between disparate software applications and use cases. Below is an example of a multifunction card that is issued by a large enterprise or government. Everywhere you see a CD is a separate and distinct software application that interacts with the data and service from the card.
The critical first step in this type of planning is to understand the data requirements on the card as it relates to each disparate software application that your project will deploy.
Building a smart card system that stores value i.e. gift certificates, show tickets, redemption points or cash equivalents requires an attention to detail not necessary in other information management systems. The most important detail of a successful stored value card is that the card and program are perceived by users as being compelling, justifying the switch from other payment options.
User information and system wide training should be part of your budget. It is recommended that you phase-in each feature set after the first one is working. Here is a list of some questions that are pertinent to these systems in addition to the above questions.