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ISO/IEC 14443 and ISO/IEC 7816 standards for smart cards
Mar 19, 2018

ISO/IEC 14443 is the international standard for contactless smart chips and cards that operate (i.e., can be read from or written to) at a distance of less than 10 centimeters (4 inches). This standard operates at 13.56 MHz and includes specifications for the physical characteristics, radio frequency power and signal interface, initialization and anticollision protocols and transmission protocol.

ISO/IEC 7816 is the international standard for contact smart cards. ISO/IEC 7816 Parts 4 and above are used by both contact and contactless smart card applications for security operations and commands for interchange.

ISO/IEC is one of the worldwide standard-setting bodies for technology, including plastic cards. The primary standards for smart cards are ISO/IEC 7816, ISO/IEC 14443, ISO/IEC 15693 and ISO/IEC 7501.


ISO/IEC 7816 is a multi-part international standard broken into fourteen parts. ISO/IEC 7816 Parts 1, 2 and 3 deal only with contact smart cards and define the various aspects of the card and its interfaces, including the card’s physical dimensions, the electrical interface and the communications protocols. ISO/IEC 7816 Parts 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13 and 15 are relevant to all types of smart cards (contact as well as contactless). They define the card logical structure (files and data elements), various commands used by the application programming interface for basic use, application management, biometric verification, cryptographic services and application naming. ISO/IEC 7816 Part 10 is used by memory cards for applications such as pre-paid telephone cards or vending machines. ISO/IEC 7816 Part 7 defines a secure relational database approach for smart cards based on the SQL interfaces (SCQL).