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Key Fobs vs Proximity Cards: What’s the Difference?

Did you know that key fobs have been around since the 1980s? Key fobs are one of the options businesses are using more often, but there are also proximity cards available when you need a touchless entry system for your business.

How can you decide between key fobs and proximity cards? Let us take a look at how they each work and what their main differences are.

Key Fobs: How They Work

Most key fobs use radio frequency identification (RFID). RFID is a type of barcoding that sends data from the fob to the reader using radio waves.

They transmit the information over a short distance, usually to a gate or door. Key fobs are small and easy to carry around since you can add them to a key ring or ID badge.

A key fob lets you see exactly who is coming in and out of the location, and you can have a digital record of them.

Proximity Cards: How They Work

As the name implies, a proximity card works over very short ranges and is also called tap technology. Proximity cards have antennas in them, and those transfer the information to the reader.

They are excellent options for access control, but they are read-only, and they have a limited amount of data. They are, however, very easy to operate and you will not have to spend time explaining how to use them.

Main Differences

These touchless entry system options have differences you want to consider when deciding which one is the best choice for your business. Let us take a deeper dive into these differences.

Size and Shape

These two access systems have different sizes and shapes. The fob can come in many different sizes and styles. You find some that are the size of a coin, while others are larger and bulkier.

A proximity card is usually the shape of a credit card. It can fit into your wallet easily. They also have space for a picture, so they can work to verify identification, as well.


The use of these two options is another difference. Key fobs are used for cars very often because they are easier to remember. Since you can attach them to a key ring, you do not have to think too much about it.

A proximity card is a favourite option for businesses because they work as a type of ID card. They are also very durable. Because they have no moving parts, they are less likely to break or malfunction.


Key fobs use passive radio waves, Bluetooth, or Near Field Communication. Proximity cards, on the other hand, use high-frequency radio waves.

Choose the Best Touch-Less Access Option

Make your business safer by turning to a touch-less access option like buying proximity cards or key fobs in Markham. Contact us at Affordable Lock Services Inc. to find the access solutions you need!


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