Card Types

Not every access control system will or should be the same. In any office that assigns cards to all of its employees or users, there are multiple card types, or different methods of access card encoding technologies, to choose from. These methods include magnetic strips, Wiegand badges, and smart cards. Magnetic strip access cards work in exactly the same way as a credit or debit card — a user’s information is encoded in the strip on the back, which is individualized by a card encoder that reverses the polarity of tiny rod magnets within the strip. Wiegand badges also use a strip on a card in much the same way, but they contain a set of embedded wires instead. This method was developed specifically for access control systems. Smart cards are similar to newer credit cards that have chips embedded within them. When inserted into a reader, the chip passes information to the device. All three card types have their own benefits.

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