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Proximity Vs. Smart Cards: What's the Difference?

Proximity Vs. Smart Cards: What's the Difference?

If you will soon be installing a security system in your company's building – or if you already have an existing security system that needs updating/replacing – it would behoove you to look into the difference between smart cards and proximity cards.

The basics:

  • Nothing more than a card number and facility code are stored on proximity cards. A proximity card reader is used to process/communicate the information on the cards.
  • The ability to store and authenticate biographical information is added to the card number and facility code in the case of smart cards.

Again, those are just the bare facts. Let's look at each of these types of cards on a deeper level.

Proximity Cards

Proximity technology is used by many systems. From the card, the system extracts the ID number courtesy of a proximity card reader. The information (ID number) is conveyed to the controller. The validity of the number is searched for in a database. The system decides whether to deny or allow entry based on the ID number’s validity within the software. Access would be denied if, within the system, the card number wasn't validated.

Specific facility codes – or limited ID card numbers – can be set into the controller to enhance proximity card security. Within the software, this is a secondary authentication level. 

Only certain bit formats can also be programmed to be allowed in the controller. With the proximity card platform, maximum security is provided by this three-level configuration.

Smart Cards

Everything described above also applies to smart cards. However, they possess further memory and authentication capacity capabilities. The storage that is added to smart cards can be used to store:

  • Pin codes
  • Biographical information
  • Monetary values to be used as prepaid membership or vending cards, and other applications

What's more, smart cards are available as contactless, contact, or both contactless and contact cards.

Combination Cards

Let's say you decided to replace the proximity card system in existence (in your company building) with a new smart card system. To allow for a smooth transition from one card system to the other, useable by both systems, there are combination cards that you can give to the people you wish to have access.

Shopping for Proximity Cards? Check Out 3iD Management

3iD Management can provide your company with the proximity cards your company needs. We carry the following items:

  • Badging systems
  • ID card printers
  • Visitor badges
  • ID cards
  • Badge accessories
  • ID software and photo capture
  • ID printer supplies

3iD Management is a trusted source for businesses in search of proximity cards, ID printers, ID software, and more. We have a selection of warrantied 3iD cards in stock. Confused about printers? Not sure which ones are the best for your purposes? Don't worry, we're happy to help you decide. We’ve got you covered, whatever your ID printer supply needs. Feel free to contact our customer care team at 800-316-7304 if you have any questions. 

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