Dual Interface Smart Cards

Combining contact and contactless technology for increased security

Close up of payment cards - Combining contact and contactless technology for increased security

Vertical Tabs

Dual Interface Smart Cards can be designed to fit any requirement


What is a dual interface smart card?

Paragon ID’s dual-interface smart cards incorporate a single chip, with both contact and contactless interfaces. With these cards, it is possible to access the same chip using either of these methods, with a very high level of security.

The chips used in these cards also fall into two categories: microcontroller chips and memory chips. A memory chip is like a small floppy disk with optional security. Memory chips are less expensive than microcontrollers but with a corresponding decrease in data management security. Cards that use memory chips depend on the security of the card reader for processing and are ideal for situations that require low or medium security.

A microcontroller chip can add, delete, and otherwise manipulate information in its memory. A microcontroller is like a miniature computer, with an input/output port, operating system, and hard disk. Smart cards with an embedded microcontroller have the unique ability to store large amounts of data, carry out their own on-card functions (e.g., encryption and digital signatures) and interact intelligently with a smart card reader.

For what application? 

Paragon ID knows that the selection of a particular card technology is driven by a variety of issues, including:

  • Application dynamics
  • Prevailing market infrastructure
  • Economics of the business model
  • Strategy for shared application cards

Some of the applications using this dual-interface smart card technology, that Paragon ID can help implement solutions for, include:

  • Secure identity applications – employee ID badges, citizen ID documents, +driver’s licenses, online authentication devices
  • Healthcare applications – citizen health ID cards, physician ID cards, portable medical records cards
  • Payment applications – contact and contactless credit/debit cards, transit payment cards
  • Telecommunications applications – GSM subscriber identity modules, pay telephone payment cards

Paragon ID's dual cards


Calypso cards are microprocessor based contactless and dual interface smart cards which offer both speed of transaction and a high level of security. ASK operating platform, TanGO, perpetuates the lifetime of existing products as well as the implementation of enhanced functionalities. The range provides contactless cards with various EEProm memory sizes with CT4002, CT4004, CT4008 and CT4018 and meets transport operators’ requirements for more contracts, interoperability and flexible mapping.


TanGO4EMV is a true multiapplication operating system combining full EMV compliance and MasterCard certification. It allows for high speed and secure transit transactions. TanGO4EMV contains 5 main core applications: the MasterCard M/Chip 4 application, the MasterCard Paypass M/Chip contactless application, the Universal Transaction application for transit, the e-purse and private payment application, the Calypso application for transit and the card administration application which includes post issuance capability. TanGO4EMV can be licensed to banking smart card manufacturers.

All Paragon ID contactless smart cards can be fully personalized with coloured artwork on the front and back side and other post-print features including identification elements. Microprocessor cards offer mutual authentication between the card and the reader as well as a large flexibility thanks to file management.

Contact Paragon ID

For more information about our Dual Interface Smart Cards