Differences Between a Prox Card and a Smart Card | Ask the Experts


What are the differences between a Prox Card and a Smart Card?



Proximity cards (commonly referred to as Prox cards) have been the standard credential for access control systems for decades. Prox cards provide only one function: to provide the Prox card reader with its identification number and/or the site facility code number so it can be verified. Smart Cards, on the other hand, are newer to the industry and expand upon the original use of Prox cards. Smart Cards have three main functions:

  • Authentication
  • Storing personal information
  • Storing values

A Smart Card can be used as multiple credentials in some cases. The onboard memory of a Smart Card can be used to store identification information. Overall, Smart Cards provide a higher level of security for access control systems and have a much broader range of uses than Prox cards.


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