Reasons Why Proximity Cards May Stop Working

Reasons Why Proximity Cards May Stop Working

by Mike Boehm on November 21, 2022

Proximity cards are used more and more in our personal and professional lives. Like all technology, they can glitch and sometimes stop working altogether. This article will bring to light some of the most common reasons for why a 26 bit proximity card may stop working.

To understand why a proximity access card might stop working, we must first look at how the card works. 26 bit proximity cards use RFID technology (radio frequency identification) which sends a signal from the card to another device. This signal contains code or information which is used to validate one’s access. For example, an employee can scan their proximity badge on a card reader outside his/her office building. The card sends a signal to the reader, the reader validates the data on the card to determine if the card user is allowed to enter or not, and the reader then unlocks the door if the user’s credentials are valid. The proximity access card does all of this through an antenna and chip that is inside of the card between two thin pieces of plastic.

Top 3 Reasons for Malfunctions:

#1 Physical Damage

Proximity access cards are easily bendable. Unfortunately, once a 26 bit proximity card is bent, it will damage the antenna and chip in the card. Once the card is bent, the connection in the antenna is immediately damaged. Even putting the card in your back pocket and sitting down could cause a disruption in the antenna, thereby making the card unreadable.

A solution for this is to ensure that your proximity badge does not get put in a place where it is easily bendable (like pockets, bags, etc.). If the badge is on a lanyard around one’s neck, for example, it is unlikely chance of getting bent. To add even more protection to your proximity badge, you can buy a cover or sleave to put the card in. This acts as a case for your card that will insure continual and reliable use.

#2 Magnetic Interference

Another common reason for a proximity access card to stop working is from magnetic interference. Strong magnetic forces will damage the card by interfering with the data programed on the card. The magnet force will cause the card to be unreadable on card readers and other devices. Items that could damage the 26 bit proximity card are fridge magnets, smartphones, metal clasps on wallets, etc.

To avoid damaging the proximity access card, keep it away from items that emit a strong magnetic field. This will ensure that the data and programing on the card does not get damaged and will continue to work as intended.

#3 Restriction

Another common reason for a proximity badge to not work on a building could simply be from the card not having the required access clearance. If this is happening to you at your place of employment, you will need to contact your manager to learn more about your access levels. Making sure that your 26 bit proximity cards are set up correctly and have the right programming is essential. The solution could be as simple as changing the access level on your card.

Why did my RFID proximity card stop working?