Proximity Cards vs Smart Cards: How card technologies can impact your security
There are approximately 30-50 billion smart cards in circulation today. Organizations often use proximity (prox) cards or smart cards for physical or logical access control use cases. For example, tap-and-pay options at the store use the same technology that tap-and-go smart cards use to authenticate a variety of endpoints throughout an organization ranging from healthcare access control to corporate enterprise to higher education. Keep reading to discover more about the technology that impacts us every day and how you can harness it for a more secure future within your organization.
What is a prox card?
Proximity cards are low frequency (125 kHz) contactless credentials. A form of RFID card security, prox cards can contain information such as a card number and a facility code. They often come in two form factors: a credit card-sized PVC card or a key fob. In addition, prox cards generally have a slightly larger read range and are more cost-effective than smart cards.
When presented to a low frequency card reader, proximity cards enable individuals with privileges to access doors, parking garages, turnstiles, and other entry points.
Smart cards are high frequency (13.56 MHz) contactless credentials. Another form of RFID technology, smart cards can contain a variety of information such as a card number, facility code, and other secure information. They can resemble the same form factor as prox cards but include an embedded microchip. Because of its encryption capabilities and higher memory, smart cards can store more unique information and offer a higher level of security.
Differences Between Proximity Cards and Smart Cards
While proximity cards and smart cards may look alike, there are important differences between them. Let’s take a look at some of the key differences between the two.
Adopting Proximity or Smart Cards
Regardless of what sort of card you are bringing to the table, rf IDEAS can help you raise the standards of your security systems with the help of proximity or smart card reader technology.
Most of our card readers can be used with any type of credential. If you aren’t sure what credentials will work with your current security system, reach out to our experts who can help you discover the right card or the right reader for your workflows!
At rf IDEAS, we offer readers that are compatible with your existing arsenal of credentials. Our WAVE ID readers can be easily integrated into your existing card access control system.