SCM Microsystems introduce new portable smart card readers

SANTA ANA, Calif. and ISMANING, Germany, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SCM Microsystems, a leading provider of solutions for secure access, secure identity and secure exchange, is expanding its smart card reader product family with three new models that usher in a new era of compact, portable, personal devices. The new handheld, USB or Near Field Communication (NFC) connected readers are designed to be carried - on key rings, in pockets or purses - and used every day with contact or contactless smart cards, regardless of technology or manufacturer. In many instances, users insert the card and leave it in the reader - leaving them with a single small device for all smart card-related needs.

Smart cards are being used worldwide to secure identities in many applications, such as bank payment cards, employee access badges, government identity cards and healthcare IDs. SCM's new readers enable cardholders to use their smart cards anytime, anywhere with PCs, the Internet or other terminals. Many models allow physical access to buildings, too. Cardholders can use the reader to pay more securely or to authenticate their network identities with banks, employers, government agencies, or healthcare providers. They can even download discounts or promotion links from NFC smart posters, take them home and load them into a PC.

"Our new readers address two important market drivers that are at the core of our strategy, the growth of contactless technology and the convergence of physical access and IT security systems," said Felix Marx, chief executive officer of SCM Microsystems. "Organizations making large scale deployments need to provide their end users with ways to use smart cards for secure physical entry, as well as with PCs and over the Internet at home, at work or at school. We engineered these personal smart card readers to fill that gap. They are compact and ultra-portable, so people can carry them to use with their smart cards wherever they go."

The new smart card readers are the SCR3500 SmartFold, the SCT3511 and the @MAXX lite. SCM will make them available in August through both OEM and distribution channels.

SCR3500 SmartFold: portable contact smart card reader

The SCR3500 SmartFold is a uniquely designed small, portable contact smart card reader that fits easily on a key ring and in every pocket. Since it is easy to carry around, users do not have to wait to come home to make secure online transactions. Online services can be accessed and payments can be made from anywhere, with full protection from password stealing spyware. The reader is unfolded and inserted into a free USB port of a notebook. Then, the smart card in ID-1 (credit card) format is inserted into the reader to enable secure access to bank accounts, online payments, Web services or company information systems.

SCT3511: contact and contactless USB token

The SCT3511 is a USB token with both contact and ISO 14443 and MIFARE(TM) contactless capabilities. It acts as a contact reader for ID-000 (SIM card format) smart cards, and has an antenna for use with a dual interface contact/contactless smart card that supports an antenna connection. This device is ideal for contactless payment and ticketing applications. Additionally, it is used for converged physical and logical access control in the enterprise. At work, with the smart card inserted, it is used for secure logon to networks or PCs using a PKI digital identity certificates. It can also be used for more secure physical access to the building instead of the usual employee badge.

@MAXX lite: contact/contactless USB token with integrated Flash memory

@MAXX lite is the newest addition to SCM's innovative @MAXX family of products. Like the SCT3511, @MAXX lite is a token with both contact and contactless smart card-based functionalities. It adds on-board Flash memory for secure storage of sensitive data. With a smart card in PC-connected mode, @MAXX lite encrypts data on a hard disk and the onboard Flash memory, and protects access by requiring a PIN entry. Other uses include contactless payment, ticketing applications, secure logon to PCs and networks with a digital identity certificate, storing encrypted and PIN protected logins and passwords in the smart card or Flash, or filling Web forms using securely stored personal information.