What Clients Should Look for When Selecting a Card Reader –

Traditional Proximity or Magnetic Stripe

When selecting a card reader for your company facility there are two options you may choose from, traditional proximity or magnetic stripe.

Each has its differences and may be based on the customer’s preference but they both serve one purpose.

Proximity Card

A proximity card is plastic contactless which means it does not have to be inserted into a card reader device.

Since proximity cards do not require a swipe, they can be left in a wallet and still serve their intended purpose. Prox cards are held or waved at a card reader to gain access into a building or within certain designated areas of a building.

They are programmed in a more secure way using computer languages that encode cards with secure numbers and data.

Unlike magnetic stripe cards which can easily have the information stored on them cleared with interference for other magnetics, proximity card information cannot be changed or altered.

This makes prox cards significantly more secure.

Magnetic Stripe Card

Magnetic stripes use magnetics to put encoded information on the dark stripes that you may see on the back of a variety of cards, like hotel cards or even credit cards.

The magnetic stripe cards require a cardholder to swipe through a card reader to gather the information from the dark stripe. As the card is being swiped, the reader quickly identifies the information on the ­­­ magstripe and relays it to the computer, allowing the cardholder access into the designated area.

Is a proximity card or magnetic stripe right for me?

We recommend that you examine what your specific needs are first and M3T can help assist with providing our professional security insight.

If you need a card that provides more secure access to confidential office cabinets, designated areas of the building then proximity cards are recommended for those situations.

If you are using a card reader that requires swiping, you likely require the use of a magnetic stripe card.

This is a low-cost solution that can simply be done by using an ID card printer and software without a large investment.

If you are unsure of which option meets your company’s needs and would like assistance, M3T can help you on what best suits you and your organization to ensure a secure facility.

Aimee Mathin

Account Manager