Electronic proximity cards

 

Proximity cards seem identical to the common plastic cards but they carry a special electronic system embedded inside. The system includes a chip and a transponder (tag), i.e. an antenna applying the Radio Frequency Identification (RDIF) technology. This technology enables contactless communication with the decoding device that is equipped with an antenna and a transmitter. There are many transponders in use such as Mifare, Hitag 1 and Hitag 2, Q5, or Unique.


Electronic proximity cards have all the advantages of contact cards in one with their basic disadvantage, i.e. fast wear and tear as the result of their frequent use, eliminated. Supplying power to proximity cards is based on the principle of induction that allows for contactless communication with the card reader. Moreover, the cards are completely resistant to water and their durability period lasts even a few years.

Applying various electronic systems, proximity cards may be used as a very simple ID number carrier, however, there is also the possibility of two-way communication by which the data stored on the card may be altered/modified (e.g. customer’s points in loyalty programmes may be added or subtracted). The security of proximity cards is ensured by special protection systems that make it impossible to hack the communication and the cards are protected against a crash.

The popularity of the cards results from their durability and simplicity of use while their price is significantly higher than the price of other types of cards. Work time monitoring and access control systems have been completely dominated by proximity cards which are moreover increasingly popular in application in payment systems and municipal communication tickets, to name a few.