Fixing Common Problems with a Smart Card Reader Fixing Common Problems with a Smart Card Reader

There are 2 types of smart card readers available: those for contactless smart cards and those for contact cards. As the name suggests, a contact smart card needs to be in contact to be read, while the contactless model does not. An example of a contactless smart card reader is the access card for some security systems that allow an occupant to hold up a card carrying smart card technology to its reader. Even without touching, the reader will read the card information and grant the user access into the building. An example of a contact smart card is a credit card that has the smart chip implanted in its plastic. Whenever the credit card is swiped, the reader will be able to access data from the smart card. Smart card readers mainly act as a medium between a computer or a terminal to the smart card. Depending on the purpose of readers, they can be designed only as a relay of information to its main host (the computer) or to decode information and act on that information independent of a host.

Dirty or Scratched Smart Card

Some common problems have risen with the many uses of smart card readers. Smart card readers that is attached to a computer via USB stops reading smart cards altogether. The problem might not even rest with the smart card reader in that the smart card itself might be damaged. Because smart card is a microchip, it is very delicate and easy to break. Since smart cards are used on credit cards, used as access cards, etc. they prone to break easily from the wear and tear of daily usage. Also, these kinds of cards can be kept inside wallets or purses and be scratched or dirtied. If it is dirt, wipe clean with a dry, soft cloth and try again. If it had been scratched, it might not be repairable.

Inaccurate Driver on the Computer

Other problems related to the smart card readers are that the computer might not be recognizing the card reader as it should. Try plugging in the smart card reader into another computer and see if the card reader won’t work from there. Some suggestions as to how to get smart card readers to work in this case is to update all Windows drivers on your computer then restart again.

A Broken USB Port

A similar problem occurs when the USB port that the card reader is plugged into has broken down and does not read the card reader properly. Try using another USB port on the same computer and see if it doesn’t work from there.

A Non-Working Smart Card Reader

If all else fails, it’s probably that your card reader is broken. If you are still under warranty, take it back to the store and exchange it for a working card reader. If it is not under warranty, then you would need to buy yourself another smart card reader.

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