Industry Specifications

 ISO Standards

EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specifications


EMVCo's primary role is to manage, maintain and enhance the EMV™ Integrated Circuit Card Specifications to ensure interoperability and acceptance of payment system integrated circuit cards on a worldwide basis. EMVCo also maintains specifications and testing procedures for terminal compliance testing and card type approval testing to help ensure cross payment system interoperability through compliance with the EMV specifications.

The testing and approval process for Visa Smart Debit/Credit (VSDC) contact-only acceptance products is managed by EMVCo. Specifications, administration documentation, test requirements and test cases may be obtained at the EMVCo site.

EMV Specifications
pdf1 A Guide to EMV

VISA Related Specifications

VISA Technology Specifications

NFC Forum

NFC Forum

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a standards-based short-range wireless connectivity technology that makes life easier and more convenient for consumers around the world by making it simpler to make transactions, exchange digital content, and connect electronic devices with a touch. NFC is compatible with hundreds of millions of contactless cards and readers already deployed worldwide.

NFC Specifications


pdf1 MDB 4.2 Vending Machine Specifications

Interoperability Specification for ICCs and Personal Computer Systems

The PC/SC Specification Version 2.0 was first released in August 2004. Since then, the PC/SC Workgroup has made several enhancements, which are now posted as Final Release Specification Version 2.01.14 

The PC/SC Specification builds upon existing industry smart card standards - ISO 7816 and EMV - and compliments them by defining low-level device interfaces and device-independent application APIs as well as resource management, to allow multiple applications to share smart card devices attached to a system. As with all previous versions, Specifications 2.01 is completely platform independent, and can be implemented on any operating system.

The PCSC specifications can be found at the PC/SC Workgroup site

GlobalPlatform is tasked with aligning the smart card infrastructure across existing technologies and multiple operating systems. The primary objective of the organization is the development and publication of standards and specifications that can be used by companies implementing multiple application smart card programs. The GlobalPlatform card specification and terminal framework is owned, managed and amended by GlobalPlatform. 

The GlobalPlatform specifications can be found at: 

Public-Key Cryptography Standards

The Public-Key Cryptography Standards are specifications produced by RSA Laboratories in cooperation with secure systems developers worldwide for the purpose of accelerating the deployment of public-key cryptography. First published in 1991 as a result of meetings with a small group of early adopters of public-key technology, the PKCS documents have become widely referenced and implemented. Contributions from the PKCS series have become part of many formal and de facto standards, including ANSI X9 documents, PKIX, SET, S/MIME, and SSL.

The Public-Key Cryptography Standards can be found at the RSA LABORATORIES

3G Mobile Communication Specifications

The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is a collaboration agreement that was established in December 1998.  The collaboration agreement brings together a number of telecommunications standards bodies which are known as "Organizational Partners".  The current Organizational Partners are ARIB, CWTS, ETSI, T1, TTA, and TTC.

The original scope of 3GPP was to produce globally applicable Technical Specifications and Technical Reports for a 3rd Generation Mobile System based on evolved GSM core networks and the radio access technologies that they support (i.e., Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (UTRA) both Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Time Division Duplex (TDD) modes).  The scope was subsequently amended to include the maintenance and development of the Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) Technical Specifications and Technical Reports including evolved radio access technologies (e.g. General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE)).

The term "3GPP specification" covers all GSM (including GPRS and EDGE) and 3G specifications.

The 3G Mobile Communication Specifications can be found at the 3GPP site

Smart Card Documents

What's So Smart about SmartCards [152KB PDF, 12 pages]

Government Smart Card Handbook [3.7MB PDF, 262 pages]

IBM Red book - Smart Cards: A Case Study [1.38MB PDF, 234 pages]

Recommended books

Smart Card Handbook, Fourth Edition by W. Rankl, W. Effing

RFID Handbook, Third Edition by Klaus Finkenzelle