Recyclable Key Cards

Some key cards are made using recycled materials. Not only that, they can be recycled as well. This is a great option for reducing unwanted cards.

Source: Recycleable Key Cards

Custom Key Cards

These customized cards can store a company's name and logo and important information regarding the user. Custom cards are designed to work with all major key card systems.

Source: Custom Plastic Cards is an information resource guide for those interested in key card technology

Types of Key cards in use today


A Keycard's magnetic strip, also called Magstripe, uses information stored within it when scanned. Centralized lock systems that scan the keycard operate in different ways. Some systems use varying radio frequencies to connect with the central controllers, while others use hardwired connections to communicate with the central controllers.


 RFID Lock Systems have become more of an industry standard in recent years. The use of "Radio Frequency Identification" focuses exclusively on radio signals when operating with a standard keycard lock system, instead of the traditional magnetic strip.

Advantages: Magstripe

Using Magstripe cards can have its benefits.

Magstripe keycards are very cost effective. They eliminate the need for changing locks and providing keys for those locks. The keycards reduce the need for multiple keys on hand, they are recyclable, and locks can be programmed for certain type of key, thus maximizing security and privacy. 

When used as a key for hotel door locks magstripe key cards offer a superior  level of 

security over brass keys. The magstripe is encoded with an address, time and date stamp. The door locks are programmed to only accept keycards with the most current time and date stamps. Guest need not worry about old keycards working on their rooms.

Disadvantages: Magstripe

Everything can have its share of problems, the same can be said of keycards.

Magstripe keycards are very resourceful and handy at times, however, there can be issues at times. The average lifespan of a magstripe keycard is around 300 to 400 uses. This is due to the physical deterioration of the magnetic stripe caused by friction, scratches, dirt, or damage to the card. This makes the card misread easily or even unusable. 

​The magnetic stripe can be affected by magnetic fields that render the card unusable and with a limited memory storage capacity it makes it difficult for the cards to integrate with certain supplementary equipment.  

Despite these issues, magstripe keycards are still used constantly for many businesses, hotels, and security systems around the world. 

Advantages: RFID

The RFID system has many great features to work with.

Instead of using a magnetic stripe, RFID tags use a form of anti-cloning material that allows data to remain more secure and reads from a distance rather than needing to be swiped through a scanner.

RFID tags can streamline and organize a wide collection of information, even transportation of local goods in real time. They can also store personal information such as passports, IDs, etc.

Disadvantages: RFID

The use of RFID can have its own faults as well.

Because RFID systems use radio frequencies to operate they can jam easily with cell phones or Wi-Fi networks operating at the same frequency.

​Units that operate by processing RFID signals can collide with other units that read signals by overlapping each other. The same can be said for RFID tags.

RFID tags can be easily read from a distance and can allow others to read information stored on your tag without you knowing. The tags being very small can be hard to remove as well.

Even with the issues shown, RFID systems are known for being quick, efficient, and streamlined in the modern world that we live in today.


College Key Cards

Electronic keycards are invaluable  on a college campus. For students, keycards are quick, efficient, and easy to use. They provide a greater sense of security compared to older metal keys and are easily replaceable. Students lose their keys in all kinds of ways, luckily activating a new card is simple and inexpensive. 

Campus keycards provide another measure of security. If there was a large amount of money on your card and you lose that card it can be instantly deactivated and transferred seamlessly onto a new school ID keycard.

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