Proximity Card Types and How To Identify Them

Proximity Card Types and How To Identify Them

by Mike Boehm on June 02, 2022

Many businesses, from fitness centers to hospitals, have already made the switch to keyless entry for their buildings. Yours could be one of them—what does your entry card or fob look like right now? Whether you want to order more of the same or seek out new solutions, it’s important to know all your choices.

Security is crucial to the smooth function of your business, so why not make it as easy as possible? Building access cards and fobs are much easier to use than old-fashioned locks and keys. Touchless sensors allow authorized employees to come and go without fumbling for a cluttered keyring. Plus, cutting-edge security tech is much more sanitary, with minimal need for touching.

From cards that swipe to fobs and wristbands that use a touchless sensor, there are multiple types of proximity badges. Learn what they look like, how they work, and the unique benefits of each option with this comprehensive guide.

Prox Cards

Also called building access badges or proximity access cards, these “keys” are shaped just like a credit card or driver’s license. They fit easily into a wallet or hang conveniently on a badge reel. Though they may all be similar in shape, there are a couple of different ways to construct them.


Clamshell-style cards are proximity access badges that are made of two pieces of plastic sandwiched together, with the proximity card technology tucked inside. They are sturdy and easily identifiable amongst your other cards. However, due to their unique construction, they are too thick to fit into a standard card printer.

CR80 Printable

Printable cards are thinner and, as the name implies, compatible with printing machines. If your access badges are printed on, they can then be used as ID cards as well as proximity access token.  Having printed identification badges helps security personnel identify who should be allowed into your facility 

AUTHORIZ-id offers a couple of different printable options. What does CR80 mean, though? Simple: it’s the size of the card. CR80 cards have the dimensions of a standard ID or credit card. All of our printable cards incorporate 26-bit technology to work with your sensors. Standard proximity access CR80 card options include:

  • Sublimation Printer Cards: A sublimation printer uses ribbons of colored plastic that is melted onto the badge to achive your desired print job.  Sublimation printers are by far the most used ID card printers.  Our standard CR80 cards work perfectly with sublimation printers.
  • Inkjet printable: Avoid having to buy a new card printer by using badges that are compatible with your current printing technology. Print your company’s name and logo, as well as the employee’s name and identifying information, on the card.
  • Magnetic strip: If your system uses a swipe to identify the cardholder, include a magnetic strip on your prox cards to stay compatible with that system. Many other applications for the magnetic strip include POS (point of sale) systems, time card systems, forklift management systems and fuel pump systems to name a few. The strip is visible on the back, similar to credit and debit cards.

Access Fobs

Back in the days when pocket watches were common, wearers often affixed small ornaments or charms to their watch chains. These little decorations were called fobs. Today, fobs often find themselves on keychains and keyrings, some with an essential purpose. Most car owners have a fob on their keychain that allows them to lock or unlock their car with the press of a button.

A key fob designed for building access looks plain on the outside. It’s a durable piece of plastic, often round, oval, or rectangular in shape, and easy to transport in a pocket or on a badge reel. AUTHORIZ-id has access fobs that come in sleek shades of grey and black. Each fob is fully equipped with 26-bit RFID (radio frequency identification) technology, and each is fully compatible with ISOProx systems.

Whether your employee’s key fob is shaped like a leaf, a rectangle, or a simple circle, they’ll be able to find it easily. They can hold it up to the sensor and gain access to the building without fuss.

Adhesive Tags

If you thought key fobs were the pinnacle of advancement in compact security technology, take a look at AUTHORIZ-id’s Prox adhesive tags. They look small and unassuming on the outside, but they are equipped with the same cutting-edge technology as a prox card or access key fob.  These 26 bit proximity self-adhesive discs can be placed on items like phones, wallets, other access cards and more.

No larger than an average coin, an adhesive tag for proximity access is a sticker that can be affixed to an ID or other surface. These tags are fully equipped with RFID technology and are completely compatible with ISOProx security systems.

Adhesive proximity access tags are a great solution for businesses who want to expand building access without dispensing entirely new keycards or fobs. These high-tech stickers are less than two inches in diameter! Heavy-duty 3M adhesive helps each tag stick to its designated surface and stay in place.

Access Control Wristbands

For supreme versatility and on-the-go building access, proximity wristbands are the wave of the future. They look like a regular wristband, made of waterproof silicon that securely protects the T5577 26 bit chip inside. These wristbands are tough enough to be worn while playing aggressive sports and are a perfect solution for pool access and beach access locks.  If you operate a bustling facility with lots of coming and going, wristbands make building access quick and easy.

Wristbands are popular choices for fitness centers, as well as dormitories and other college campus areas with high foot traffic. The RFID technology concealed inside the wristband holds critical information about the wearer. With that information, you can authorize their wristband to open some buildings—but not others. Much like other access control technology, wristbands are highly customizable.

For employees, students, or other authorized individuals, wristbands are difficult to misplace or forget. No more fumbling for keys or reaching for fobs—a simple wave of the wrist is quick and convenient for folks on the go.

In addition to their many other benefits, access control wristbands are also fully waterproof. The RFID chip is safely encased in heavy-duty silicone. Athletes of all kinds—including the Jacksonville Jaguars!—prefer the durability and convenience of a wristband to get into the locker room.

Proximity Access Credentials - A great solution

If you’re looking to amp up security at your school or business, give proximity access badges or key fobs a try. RFID technology can be encased in clamshell cards, durable wristbands, or even adhesive coins. AUTHORIZ-id has been creating innovative building access solutions since 2016, and we hope to be your one-stop shop for access credentials.

Whether you want to install a new security system or simply boost your existing one, there’s a wide variety of types of proximity cards for you to choose from. Now that you know how to identify them, you can make the choice that fulfills the unique needs of your facility and the people who use it.

Need help identifying what key cards or fobs to order? 


Proximity Card Types and How To Identify Them