What sort of card readers can be used to view CSCS smartcards using a computer or laptop?

There are many card readers that will work with CSCS smartcards.  Prices start from around £40 + VAT and you can purchase them from CSCS’ preferred supplier or from another supplier. Before purchasing check that the readers you choose are PC/SC accordant conforming to protocol T=0 (contact interface) or T=CL (contactless interface) or you will not be able to read CSCS SmartCards.

Reading a valid CSCS SmartCard will display the cardholder’s details and photograph on the computer screen, which will demonstrate that the card is genuine and will verify the information printed on the card.

The CSCS SmartCard is a dual interface card, which means it can be read using a contact reader (one where the card is inserted into a slot in the reader), or a contactless reader (one where the card is simply placed on the outside surface of the reader). Contactless readers cost slightly more but read SmartCards more quickly.

Only PC/SC accordant SmartCard readers conforming to protocol T=0 (contact interface) or T=CL (contactless interface) will be suitable for reading the CSCS SmartCard. A selection of models that have been tested for compatibility are available from CSCS’ preferred supplier.

Before a reader can be used, it will be necessary to install special CSCS software on to your PC or laptop, and you may also need to load a driver that comes with the reader. The CSCS software is downloadable free of charge here. Alternatively, it will be available to purchase on a CD-ROM as part of a package with a reader from CSCS’s preferred supplier.

Once the software is running, all that remains is to plug the reader into your computer and insert the card.


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