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Smart Access Control Cards

In recent years, security technology and intelligent processes have taken a unique turn with the advent of IoT, smart homes, artificial intelligence, and Machine learning. Many organizations have been transitioning from traditional access control methods (keys, pins, security guards, gates, etc.) to advance yet portable Access control methods and devices.

What Is A Smart Access Control Card

Smart Access Control Cards are portable electronic cards made from PVC and metal with an embedded microchip, optimized memory, and a wireless communication system to enable fast and seamless management regarding access to resources. This is part of security measures to restrict or grant access to places or resources according to an organization’s rules or policies.

Smart Access Control Cards can be integrated with magnetic stripes, proprietary proximity, and biometric systems, aside from secure storage and information processing provided by incorporating RAM, ROM, EEPROM, and a serial communication interface. Smart Access Control Cards have a secure microprocessor chip for implementing a secure file system, computing cryptographic functions, and invalid access attempt detection.

It’s important to note that Smart Access Control Cards function based on three levels of access control.

  • Setting user privilege
  • Sequence detection – helps in identifying invalid access attempts.
  • Logic channel – contains logical links between files on the smart card and the host system.

Types Of Smart Access Control Cards

Different Smart Access Control Cards types are based on how they operate, and it is essential to discuss them for better understanding.

Contact Smart Access Control Cards

Examples of smart cards in this category are ATMs, memory cards, and SIM cards, which only function when inserted into a card reader for authentication. Contact cards embed integrated circuit chips containing either a memory or a memory and microprocessor. Contact Smart Cards usually have a plastic cover with a small dedicated chip space. The chip of cards with only memory can hold from 103 bits to 16,000 bits of data. Those that combine memory and microprocessor chips have controllers that help secure data addition, deletion, and modification. The number of features on cards combining memory and microprocessor chips depends on the microprocessor’s integrity.

Contactless Smart Access Control Cards

These smart cards rely on Near Field Communication (NFC) Technology and wireless transmissions using radio frequencies between 2.5 and 3.9. The card authenticates the required operation with a single card tap or positioning within the permitted range.

Proximity Cards And Hybrid Cards

The communication system in this type of smart card is through an antenna with a limited range to operate, which only allows the readability of small information and prohibits writability. While Hybrid cards are capable of using both contact and contactless technology.

Advantages Of Smart Access Control Cards

Security And Convenience

Despite the security challenges a smart card can pose to an organization, such as theft, spoofing, impersonations, or identity theft, Smart cards can be deactivated almost as it’s reported stolen, misplaced, or damaged. A system usually monitors them by collecting logs of devices’ activities and events. Smart Cards are replacing traditional authentication methods as multiple access can be granted to an individual, and access rights management is seamless, unlike traditional Access control methods.


Technological advancement has shown that security can be better and smarter with the right tools, aiding the fast implementation and adoption of Smart Access Control Cards. These card technologies are no longer limited to an organization, with the adoption of smart technologies in homes and smart card-based access systems in other sectors like transportation and health.




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