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What are proximity cards and what are they used for?

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What are proximity cards and what are they used for?

Proximity cards are becoming increasingly popular throughout all manner of organisations. Before considering investing in them yourself, however, it's important to know what exactly they are, how they work, and what they are used for.

What are proximity cards?

Proximity cards, such as the popular SwiftProx or HID Prox, are contactless cards that can be read without the need to insert the card physically into a reader. They usually look like any standard debit, credit, or ID card, but proximity clam-shell cards, stickers, and key fobs also exist.

How do they actually work?

Inside a proximity card, a small metallic antenna coil is embedded. This coil allows the card to emit a 125kHz low frequency which can be picked up by the reader. On presenting the card to the reader, the card emits a unique number string for the system to verify. Once that number is cross-checked against the list of approved numbers and found to match, the control panel will unlock the door.

What are they used for?

Proximity cards have a number of key uses, but here are three of the most popular.

Improving security

Proximity cards eliminate some of the problems that are often found with traditional security measures. For example, using a traditional lock and key leads to a risk that the key can simply be cloned. With a proximity system there is more security as the cards work without contact and each card is assigned a unique access number that cannot be duplicated, this helps to eliminate the risk of any cards being cloned. This mitigates any security risks and prevents unauthorised access.

Logging individual access

Proximity cards are great for creating an automated "sign in" system because every time a card is used the process is logged. That means you can then very easily check the log to see who has used that access point, and exactly what time they used it. If the proximity card is required to exit as well, you'll also have the exact time they left that area. This can make tracking individual movement a lot easier and more secure.

Introducing tiered access

A proximity card system is highly useful for introducing a tiered access system on your premises. It will allow you to individually program and assign access cards only to those who have correct permissions for that area, without the need for expensive key cutting and colour coding.

Investing in proximity key cards

If you're looking to make the most of secure access technology, investing in proximity key cards should be a prime consideration. To find the proximity cards that are perfect for your business, browse the range at ID Cards Direct today.