Types of Prox Cards

Types of Prox Cards

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Proximity cards come in a wide variety of styles – this allows you to select the type of card that will work best for your organization. Options include standard PVC or composite cards, thick clamshell cards, printable cards, multipurpose cards with magnetic stripes, and alternatives to cards including key fobs and tags.

All prox cards work in the same way: a copper circuit and antenna is embedded within your card, which stores your card data. When the card comes within range of a reader, the antenna sends the card data to the reader to unlock the door using radio frequencies (this is what prox cards are often called RFID cards).

PVC Prox Cards

PVC proximity cards are the same size and material as a standard CR80 ID card. These cards are made from durable polyvinyl chloride, or PVC.

Learn more about PVC prox cards.

Composite Prox Cards

Composite proximity cards are made from a combination of Polyester and PVC materials instead of straight PVC like a standard card. This makes the cards more durable, so they can better withstand use in card printers and daily wear and tear.

Composite prox cards are the same size as a standard CR80 card.

Learn move about composite prox cards.

Clamshell Prox Cards

Clamshell proximity cards are thicker than a normal card, because they use two pieces of rigid plastic to encase the proximity technology. Clamshell cards are only available with a vertical slot punch.

The thicker size means you cannot feed a clamshell card through a card printer. If you need to customize your cards after receiving them from the manufacturer, you can print on an adhesive-backed card and apply that card to your clamshell card.

Although clamshell cards are thicker than traditional cards, this does not make them more durable; in fact, their rigid two layer design makes them less flexible and more likely to snap or break and should not be stored in a cardholder’s wallet or pocket where it might be bent.

Learn more about clamshell prox cards.

Magnetic Stripe Prox Cards

Magnetic stripe proximity cards, also called Duo Prox by HID, are cards with two types of encoding – the proximity or access control system, and a magnetic stripe.

This dual-encoding system allows your organization to store more data, and different kinds of data, on a single card. This is especially helpful for multifunctional cards because one employee ID can work as an access control card and payment card for parking lots, cafeterias, and more.

These dual-purpose cards are the same size as a standard CR80 card.

Learn more about magnetic stripe prox cards.

Prox Cards for Printing

If you want to print on your prox cards in-house, you will need to order cards made from materials that allow printing. Called ISO

Prox by HID, these cards are made from the same materials as a normal (non-prox) card and work with ID card printers from all manufacturers.

Learn more about printable prox cards.

Adhesive Tags or Disks

Adhesive tags are small round adhesive prox cards designed to be stuck onto another surface, converting it into an access control card.

The most common ways organizations use key tags are to convert cards you already have into prox cards instead of having to reprint all of your employee ID cards, or sticking them on phones or wallets.

Learn more about adhesive tags.

Card Fobs or Tags

Card fobs are small prox cards that are designed to be stored on a key chain. They have a slot in them toattach to a key ring. Card fobs are made from durable materials to withstand daily use.

Although they are small, a card fob can still store the full amount of data as a regular size card with the added convenience of fitting onto the cardholder’s keys – especially handy for security personnel or cleaning crews who will already have a large set of keys.

Learn more about key fobs.

Active Tags

Active Tags, available from HID, are unique prox cards designed to work with access controlled parking garages – these cards attach to your car and signal gates to open as the car enters.

Active tags are most often used in restricted parking garages for business or residential buildings.

Corporate 1000

HID Corporate 1000 is an HID-exclusive program that allows customers to register their card format and card information with HID to prevent card number duplication. The Corporate 1000 program is an efficient way to track your organization’s card information so you always know what the next set of cards will be when you order.

Corporate 1000 cards can be either proprietary or standard formats, and do not limit you only purchasing your cards from HID.

Learn more about Corporate 10000 cards.