Contactless smart cards cater to many similar applications encompassed by contact smart cards, and further introduce the added convenience of expediting transactions by eliminating the need for contact between a card and a reader.  The demand and acceptance for this type of card is growing for both physical and logical access control applications, including but not limited to student identification, electronic passport, vending, parking and toll.

The MIFARE Classic card is fundamentally just a memory storage device, where the memory is divided into segments and blocks with simple security mechanisms for access control. They are ASIC based and have limited computational power. Thanks to their reliability and low cost, these tags are widely used for electronic wallet, access control, corporate ID cards, transportation or stadium ticketing.

Physical Access Management

Contactless smart cards are offering a convenient and secure way to give access buildings. Compared to traditional technologies such as mechanical keys or mag stripe cards it offers more flexibility and ease of use. You just hold your card next to the reader and the door opens, provided the card contains the necessary rights. In addition the same cards can be easily used for work time tracking or canteen payment schemes. Access Management is a growing global segment where several hundreds of million cards are used every year.
Many systems are based on popular NXP ICs such as MIFARE Classic or Hitag. For new systems, especially where security is important we recommend to use MIFARE Plus or MIFARE DESFire EV1. These ICs are common criteria certified and base their security architecture on proven open cryptography.
MIFARE Plus is the migration product to bring MIFARE Classic based system to AES security. It features the same memory structure as MIFARE Classic. MIFARE Plus offers innovative features to protect the user’s privacy with random IDs or the virtual card architecture as well as advanced security mechanism such as the proximity check against relay attacks.
MIFARE DESFire provides a flexible memory based on a 7816 file system and the choice of 3DES or AES cryptography.
In addition to the physical access to buildings, a secure smart card can also protect the logical access to PCs. Applets programmed on the NXP SmartMX IC are described in the logical access section.
For access management readers, NXP offer reader ICs and SAMs to enable communication and secure key storage in the reader. See details on the following link in the infrastructure section.
Key achievements:

NASA selects MIFARE DESFire for access management.
Shenzhen DAS base access management system on Plus CPU.


MIFARE based smart cards are being used in several hundreds of cities worldwide.
These cards are being used to get fast and convenient access to public transportation. End users can chose between pre-paid and seasonal cards.The MIFARE product portfolio provides a choice of different memory options, security and privacy concepts and the basis to implement multi-application schemes.MIFARE based cards can be used to access subways, buses, trains and boats. Inceasingly regional and country-wide schemes are being implemented.

-Public transport card from Kayseri, Turkey.
-Public transport card from Rostov, Russia.
-Public transport card from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
-Public transport card from London, United Kingdom
-Public transport card from Sochi, Russia