The following letter was received in response to last month’s review of the basic tenets of the ISO standards for contactless cards, Contactless Card Standards: Making Sense of 14443, 15693, and 10536. David Dressen, Product Development Manager for Atmel and member of ISO WG 8 committee (contactless cards), clarifies the requirements for ISO 14443 compliance.
To the Editor, Contactless News:
There is one item in the July article “Contactless Card Standards: Decoding ISO 14443, 15693, and 10536” which is misleading. Where you state: “For a system to comply with ISO 14443, it must meet the requirements of all four parts. Thus, the phrase “ISO 14443, Parts 1 through 4 compliant” is often seen in product descriptions.”
It is in fact perfectly legitimate for a card not to support part 4, and every contactless transit system uses these cards. The standards define them as proprietary cards.
In ISO14443 part 3 proprietary cards are defined in 126.96.36.199 for Type A and in 7.9.3 and 188.8.131.52 for Type B. A proprietary card is compliant with 14443 parts 1, 2, and 3 but is not compliant with part 4.
WG8 defined the proprietary card type to allow low cost card products like MiFare and CryptoRF to be used in cost sensitive applications. Part 4 compliance implies a microcontroller card, which is considerably more expensive.
I believe that WG8 has taken the position that a fully ISO14443 compliant reader must support all 4 parts of the standard, but there is nothing in the standards that actually states that or prohibits a “proprietary” reader. When the compliance test standards for cards and readers are published next year the requirements will be clear.
It is clearly required by the existing standards that readers must support Type A and B to be to fully compliant.
These are the types of issues that have made interoperability an issue. Both the US B10 committee and ISO WG8 are working to identify and correct portions of the standard that are unclear. The ISO amendments that will be published in the next 12 months will eliminate much of the confusion.
Your publications continue to be very informative, keep up the good work.
Product Development Manager
1150 East Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80906