What Is The Difference Between Proximity Card And Vicinity Card?

Home - Technology - What Is The Difference Between Proximity Card And Vicinity Card?

Table of Contents

Gone are the days of bulky keychains jingling in your pocket. Today, secure access control relies on a much sleeker and more convenient solution: contactless cards. But among others, two options often confuse; proximity cards and vicinity cards. 

Both of these eliminate the need for physical keys and use RFID technology, yet they serve different purposes and operate on distinct principles. There are differences between them that you need to know to choose the right fit for your security needs.

Get To Know The 2 Card Types

What is a Proximity Card?

Proximity cards, also known as Proximity ID Cards, are a staple in access control systems. Imagine a thin, credit card-sized card containing a microchip embedded within. This chip stores a unique identifier that communicates with a reader device using radio waves. When presented near the reader (typically within a few inches), the card transmits its ID, granting access if authorized.

Here’s a closer look at the defining characteristics of proximity cards:

  • Frequency: Proximity cards typically operate at a low frequency, most commonly 125 kHz.
  • Read Range: Due to the lower frequency, the reading range for proximity cards is shorter, usually around 2-4 inches. This necessitates a closer interaction between the card and the reader.
  • Data Storage: Proximity cards primarily function in read-only mode. They store a basic ID code that the reader verifies for access control.
  • Security: While convenient, the lower frequency and limited data storage of proximity cards can make them slightly less secure compared to their vicinity card counterparts. However, they still provide a significant improvement over traditional keys.

Read More Articles: How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Private Jet in Dallas?


Proximity cards shine in access control scenarios where simplicity and affordability take priority. Here are some common use cases:

  • Building access control: Granting entry to authorized personnel in offices, apartment buildings, or secure areas.
  • Event access control: Managing entry to conferences, trade shows, or gated events.
  • Payment systems: Proximity cards can be used for contactless payments in cafeterias, vending machines, or public transportation systems (often integrated with additional technologies).

Finding the Right Proximity Card Supplier

When choosing a proximity card supplier, consider factors like card durability, printing options for customization (e.g., company logos or employee names), and compatibility with your existing access control system. Look for a supplier offering ISO PVC Proximity Card, they give you top-notch quality and adhere to industry standards.

What is a Vicinity Card?

Vicinity cards offer a compelling alternative to proximity cards, particularly when a longer reading range is desired. Similar to proximity cards, they utilize radio waves for communication but differ in some key aspects:

  • Frequency: Vicinity cards typically operate at a higher frequency, most commonly 13.56 MHz (High Frequency – HF) or even Ultra-High Frequency (UHF). This higher frequency allows for a greater reading distance.
  • Read Range: The increased frequency translates to a significantly extended reading range for vicinity cards, often reaching up to 3 feet or even more depending on the specific technology used. This enables handsfree access, where cards can be waved near the reader from a comfortable distance.
  • Data Storage: Vicinity cards often offer read/write capabilities, allowing for more complex data storage beyond a simple ID code. This opens doors for applications like storing access levels or integrating with other systems like cashless vending.
  • Security: The higher operating frequency and potential for more complex data storage can enhance the security of vicinity cards compared to proximity cards. However, the specific security features will depend on the chosen technology and implementation.


Vicinity cards are ideal for scenarios where a longer reading range or additional data storage capabilities are beneficial. Here are some examples:

  • Secure parking access control: Drivers can simply wave their vicinity cards near the reader at an entry gate without needing to exit their vehicles.
  • Inventory management: Vicinity cards with read/write functionality can be used to track inventory movement or manage asset access within a facility.
  • Cashless payments: Vicinity cards can be integrated with payment systems for contactless purchases at a wider range, similar to proximity cards.

Read More Articles: What is Salesforce CRM Optimization?

Choosing the Right Card

Range Requirements

If you need a card that works within a few centimeters of the reader, a proximity card is the right choice. This is ideal for secure access control points and areas with high-security requirements.

For applications needing a read range beyond a meter, a vicinity card is more suitable.

Data Interaction

For applications that require updating data on the card, such as loyalty programs or advanced access control systems, you will need a vicinity card. But, if your application only requires reading the card’s unique ID, a proximity card will suffice.

Make The Right Choice

For high-quality proximity cards, vicinity cards, and expert guidance on selecting the best solution for your needs, contact a reputable proximity card supplier. Ensure your access control systems are both secure and efficient with the right RFID technology.

If you’re looking to implement a reliable and efficient access control system, or need high-quality ISO PVC proximity cards or proximity ID cards, reach out to Bristol ID Technologies today. As a leading proximity card supplier, we offer a wide range of RFID solutions tailored to your specific needs. Contact us now to learn more and get started on enhancing your security infrastructure.


Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Powered By
Best Wordpress Adblock Detecting Plugin | CHP Adblock