Membership Information : FAQ

Membership FAQ

Who are current Smart Card Alliance members?

Smart Card Alliance membership includes both U.S.-based and international organizations covering the full spectrum of industry suppliers, integrators and end user organizations. Members include participants in all active industry sectors–financial, government, enterprise, transportation, mobile telecommunications, healthcare, and retail–and suppliers of the full range of products and services supporting the implementation of smart-card based systems. Membership is open to anyone focusing resources and energy on the utilization of smart card technology.

What membership levels are available?

Five membership levels–Leadership Council, General, Government, University, Associate–are available to accommodate different types of organizations. There is also a Smart Card Alliance Latin America Chapter organization that has a separate membership than with the main SCA organization.

What is the membership year?

The Smart Card Alliance membership year begins on the first day of the month that the membership application is received. The anniversary date of the membership start date becomes the renewal date for continued membership in the Smart Card Alliance.

Can I upgrade my membership level?

Yes, any member can upgrade to Leadership Council level before their member year expires. However, they can only do so by starting a new 12 month membership year and paying $12,000 less any unused months in this current member year.

How can an organization apply for Leadership Council membership without paying the $12,000 fee?

Members can apply to the Board for consideration for acceptance based on ‘exceptional active participation’ such as from significant and sustained participation in work groups and/or events over a minimum period of 1 year. Acceptance will be determined by the Board of Directors.

Can non-Leadership Council members participate on councils?

Yes, any member is eligible to participate on a council. It is at the discretion of the council steering committee and chair to decide how many people can participate and what role each individual can play in council activities.

Why should I consider becoming a Leadership Council Member?

Leadership Council Members have a leadership voice in the industry through the Alliance. Leadership Council Members have priority for the participation in and the direction of Alliance activities. In the future, they may have exclusive access to certain Alliance deliverables and events, or be invited to Leadership Council-only programs. The Board of Directors is elected by the Leadership Council member organizations and candidates who wish to run for the Board must be Leadership Council Members.

Why do you have an Associate member level for individuals?

There is a strong base of individual smart card experts who are contractors or who have chosen to be independent consultants. These individuals have a great deal of knowledge and expertise that they can contribute to our organization and the industry. We created this category to include them in our organization and give them access to all that the Alliance offers other members. We have put in some controls for qualification as an Associate level member to protect the membership value of other organizational members.

What is the Latin America Chapter and where can I find more information about this chapter?

The Latin America Chapter (America Latina or SCALA) was created in 2005 to service the smart card industry needs for Latin America. Since the market drivers, educational requirements, and smart card industry providers and customers vary significantly from the United States and Canada, a separate Chapter organization was formed. Individuals and organizations based in Latin America or North American organizations with business interests in Mexico, Brazil, the Caribbean and other Latin American regions can participate in SCALA or both organizations. Visit the Latin America Chapter web site for more information or contact the Latin America Chapter office in Florida at 1-954-922-1564 .

Do you have to be a member of the Smart Card Alliance to receive smart card training and certification?

No, the Smart Card Alliance offers education and training opportunities to members and non-members. There is information about Smart Card Alliance Education and Certification Programs on the web site. Individuals who are employed by member organizations, receive discounts and other benefits reserved for member organizations.

Where can I get more details about member benefits?

Additional information about member benefits can be found on the Alliance web site. You can also contact the Alliance main office at 1-800-556-6828 or at