Pioneering Technology for the Dual-Interface Smart Card Market

The global payment market is experiencing increasing demand for dual-interface solutions that comply with the EMV technical standard for open loop payment. Industry players are looking for a technology that can be produced in high volumes and be easily implemented, yet is cost-effective and reliable.


SMARTRAC’s Wire Booster Antenna for dual-interface cards based on inductive coupling technology answers this demand, providing a reliable, robust and proven solution for the smart card market. The Wire Booster Antenna in the card and the contact module with a coil (Coil on Module) are connected to each other by inductive coupling.


The absence of any mechanical interconnection between module and antenna makes it one of the most robust dual-interface solutions available on the market today. This proven inductive coupling technology simplifies card production and improves yield rates.


Industry’s First Wire Booster Antenna PRELAM® Increases Functional Effectiveness


By combining inductive coupling technology with its patented wire-embedding technology, SMARTRAC has developed the industry’s first Wire Booster Antenna for dual-interface smart cards, which leverages the advantages of wire-embedding and inductive coupling technologies.


The Wire Booster Antenna is delivered as a PRELAM in different sheet formats with a standard thickness of typically 200µm ± 30µm, and is suitable for manual as well as fully automated collation.

There is a choice of standardized antenna designs in ID1/1, ID1/2 and ID2/3, which meet EMV requirements and allow card embossing without any restrictions. The thin tracks of the wire antenna only occupy a small area inside the card body. This provides room for creativity in the case of translucent cards, and prevents “ghost images” on the card surface when applying sophisticated graphics.

Unlike etched antenna PET sheets, which require an adhesive coating to fuse with the additional card layers, SMARTRAC’s Wire Booster Antennas can be embedded into PVC, which fuses with the additional card layers under normal hot lamination process conditions. All available PRELAM substrates are suitable for hot lamination, which enables the creation of a durable, mono-material card structure. Compared to card structures involving adhesives, such a monolithic construction significantly reduces the risk of card body delamination. Additionally, collation marks can be easily printed on the PRELAM sheet.


Cost-effective Production Using Conventional Contact-chip Card Machinery


PRELAM sheets with Wire Booster Antenna also offer cost savings for further dual-interface card production steps compared with traditional technologies, and can be easily produced to order. The finished components are extremely flexible in terms of implementation, and high volumes are available with short lead times. Compared with etched antenna technologies, both sample and volume production times are greatly reduced.


The first industry certifications have already been received for the technology in conjunction with a Coil on Module from Infineon, as well as type approvals from VISA and MasterCard.


Manufacturing a card with inductive coupling technology based on SMARTRAC’s Wire Booster Antenna requires no equipment investment beyond what is needed to manufacture a conventional contact-chip card. Therefore it represents one of today’s most economical ways to produce dual-interface cards.