Proximity Cards: An Overview of How They Work

Aug 12 , 2022

Josh Murray

Proximity Cards: An Overview of How They Work

Proximity card systems are important for the safety of many businesses and companies around the world. These systems limit access to sensitive places and data and protect people and workers. However, you need to understand how proximity cards work to get full use out of them in your businesses. Here’s a guide on proximity cards that should help you better understand how they work.

Proximity Card Readers

The first part of the proximity card system is the installation of proximity card readers.  There are many different types of card readers like 26 bit proximity, Mifare and EM4200 to name a few.  These readers emit electromagnetic fields to collect information from nearby objects and will only unlock if one of those objects is a proximity card or key fob with the corresponding data and permissions.  In other words, if you present a key card to the reader, the reader will scan the card and send the cards information to the access system.  The system will then grant or deny access depending on whether card is allowed or not.  If the proximity card is allowed, the access system will send a signal to the electrified door lock to unlock.

Electrified Locking Hardware

Prox card systems utilize electrified locks to lock and unlock on schedules as well as grant access when a valid proximity card or fob is presented to a badge reader.  Businesses install these locks to prevent access to important places by putting them on entrances.

Proximity Cards

Now, there are many different types of cards such as Mifare smart cards, various hotel format cards, 26 bit and 37 bit proximity credentials. The industry standard is the 26-bit proximity card that holds data readable by most proximity readers. These cards hold serial numbers that the reader can scan.  Once the badge reader has scanned the access card, the reader will transmit the 26 bit wiegand card data to the access system and system will then either grant or deny the 26 bit cardholder access.  

Customizing Data

One of the greatest benefits of proximity cards is the capability of the system owner to program cards individually to give different permissions to different cards. This means you can use the same system to section off your business as you need, creating a custom security system for your company. Depending on your access control software, you can even track card usage and set up alert systems if someone uses a card at the wrong place or at the wrong time. This gives your system new levels of security and utility just by customizing your proximity cards.

Now you know how proximity cards work and the basics of what you can do with a good system. By properly investing in these systems, you can protect your company and your workers from various dangers and prevent accidents at the same time.


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