Proximity cards are a type of contactless smart cards. They contain a microchip, connected to a small antenna that allows them to communicate with a card reader wirelessly. They have long served as a popular entry level option for access control.

Proximity cards are designed for regular use and can withstand much general wear and tear. However there are things you can do to extend their life even further.

Why do proximity cards stop working?

The most common reasons for proximity cards to stop working are:

  • The microchip gets exposed to electrostatic discharge (ESD) which damages the circuit.
  • The antenna gets damaged, or the connection between the chip and antenna is damaged. This often happens through wear and tear, or mistreatment of the card.
  • The card is exposed to strong magnetic fields, which wipe out the pre-programmed data.

In everyday life, these things can occur regularly and usually by accidental damage or an inappropriate level of care being taken by the user. Common occurrences include:

  • The card becoming bent, twisted or sat upon.
  • Punching a hole in the incorrect part of the card, damaging the chip or antenna.
  • The card being put in the washing machine after being left in a pocket.
  • The card being exposed to extreme heat, such as sunlight through a car window.
  • Exposure to chemicals such as alcohol, solvents, isopropyl, methyl or ethanol.

How to take care of proximity cards

The best way to extend the lifespan of your proximity cards is to protect them from physical damage by using ID card holders. We stock a range which are very affordable and come in many sizes and specs.

Our proximity card holders include:

  • Rigid holders with thumb slots or sliders to allow for easy retrieval of the card
  • Lockable Holders
  • RFID Secure Holders to protect data and prevent cloning whilst be carried
  • Coloured Card holders (another way to help identify wearers)

All our card holders can also be attached to lanyards and neck chains for easy accessibility.

If the proximity cards are to be used in areas with strong magnetic fields, we also offer high coercivity cards.

For further advice on proximity cards and holders, contact our team.