Data Card

What Does Data Card Mean?

A data card is a removable computer component that contains data or is used for data operations, such as data input, data output, data transformation and data transfer.


Data card memory is nonvolatile (held in an unpowered state) and built with dedicated information security logic. Data cards provide identification, authentication, data storage and application processing.

A data card is also known as a smart card.

Techopedia Explains Data Card

Data cards may be classified by their functions:

  • Expansion cards or printed-circuit boards: Used in video cards, sound cards and network cards
  • Memory cards: Used in cameras, MP3 players, dictaphones, hand-held computer, smart phones and mobile phones, etc.
  • Identification cards: Used for telecom, prepaid services, banking and security
  • Electronic cards: Constructed in relation to geographical information systems

Data cards feature time tracking through identification systems. They are made of plastic (polyvinyl chloride, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or polycarbonate) and located in flash memory modules and memory sticks, also known as USB drives, facilitating temporary backup, portability and easy access.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.