What is an RFID Card, and How Does It Work?


What is an RFID Card

In a world where efficiency is valued, it is important to take it seriously by incorporating the latest technology to help make things smooth. One such way of doing things is through using RFID technology.

RFID or Radio Frequency Identification comes in many ways, including cards, tags, bracelets, etc. Today, we want to focus more on RFID cards and see how good they are and what makes them ideal for us to use in many applications.

What is an RFID Card?

An RFID card is a smart card that features an antenna and chip vital for communicating with the RFID reader. The card is mostly designed to be the size of a credit card for ease of carrying around and use whenever necessary.

The best part about RFID cards is that the supplier can customize the size to your needs. The same goes for the colors on the RFID card, among other things. A brand such as JLTcard is known for its multiple customization options to help cover your needs.

Key Components of RFID Card System

To make the card work correctly, there is a need for an RFID card system. That is what we look at below.

1. RFID cards

These physical devices can store and transmit the data wirelessly to the RFID reader. They can be either passive or active, depending on the types. These types often help determine the characteristics and capabilities of the RFID cards.

2. RFID readers

The RFID readers are simply for reading the RFID cards, just as the name suggests. They can either be fixed or handheld. The readers send out radio frequency signals, which are then intercepted by the antenna of the RFID cards for reading the information on the cards.

The readers largely vary based on power output, frequency range, and communication protocols.

3. Antennas

The antennas are crucial for connecting the RFID card and the RFID reader. The antenna design varies a lot, and it is what can determine the performance of the card. Also, it affects the reading range for most RFID cards. Before buying the card, all this information can be explained to you so that you know its reading range.

4. Software

Let us take an example of a school that wants to monitor the class attendance of their students. In such a case, the software is necessary to display the information from the RFID reader. So, depending on the company, an additional software integration may be necessary to get the RFID card working just as you would like.

Types of RFID Cards

You will come across many options of RFID cards depending on the brand. However, they are mainly classified as passive and active RFID cards.

The passive RFID cards simply means they do not have their power source. In most cases, it is usually a battery. They simply rely on the energy transmitted by the RFID reader to activate the cards and relay information back to the reader.

Because there are few components to deal with, RFID cards are cheaper and have a longer lifespan. Expect them to be used for applications that need a short read range, such as access control.

Active RFID cards are equipped with a power source. You will notice them being visibly bigger because of the additional battery to power the circuit of the RFID card. Because of such a power source, these cards usually have a long read range.

A long read range can be advantageous, especially in tracking assets over several meters. However, this comes at a higher cost, and the cards are also more expensive to buy.

The RFID cards may also be categorized in terms of frequency. That is how you end up with low-frequency, high-frequency, and ultra-high-frequency RFID cards on the market. Each frequency type can contribute to the applications the card can do.


How RFID Cards Work

How RFID Cards Work

For us to know how well the RFID cards work, we have to understand their components fully. First things first. RFID cards are made of a chip and antenna. There is still the encapsulation material, which is essential for covering these delicate components.

The RFID reader sends out an RF signal, which is then picked by the RFID card antenna. The antenna uses these electromagnetic waves to activate the chip to transmit the data back to the reader.

Now that the chip on the RFID card is activated, data is sent to the reader for processing. If the data is what the reader has in its database, then a certain action occurs. A good example is opening a door, checking out a book, and more.

That is it. The process might seem long, but it usually takes microseconds, and you have an action taking place.

Possible Uses of RFID Cards in the Real World

Over the last several years, RFID cards have found various practical applications in different industries. You might have even come across them, and you did not know. Here are some examples of how RFID cards are used in the real world.

1. Access control plus security

RFID cards control access to different facilities, buildings, and office spaces. All that is needed is that you present an RFID card for scanning by the RFID reader, and if it matches what is in the database, you should be good.

This means that only those with the authorized RFID cards can access the building or office space. It is also a way of tracking the entry and exit times.

2. Library management

You may also find that RFID cards are good for library management. This is where the cards are vital for streamlining the borrowing and returning of books.

The books can also have RFID tags embedded into them to smooth the process. On the other hand, the cards are for getting in and out of the library. There are so many ways of achieving this operation with RFID cards.

3. Transportation

Have you ever been on a bus and must use a card to pay for fare? These are basically RFID cards. They are useful for making contactless payments. The passengers simply have to tap on the reader, and if they still have the credits or money on their cards, then their entry is accepted.

The transport company will have an easier time collecting revenue than when it is cash, which is prone to theft.

4. Student or Employee ID Cards

It does not have always to be used for access control as the RFID card can also act as an identification for the user. A good example is when it identifies students or employees at the gate.

Students can also use the same for tracking their attendance. Each time someone gets into a lecture room, their card is scanned. You cannot take the exams if the attendance does not meet the required threshold.

5. Healthcare

RFID cards can also be used in healthcare systems to make it easier to identify patients. Each patient is assigned a card as they are admitted. This card can access the patient’s health records remotely for proper medication administration.

Still, the same is vital for tracking the location of different equipment in the same hospital.

6. Managing events

You may have gone to some events and noticed cards being used at the entrance to admit people into the space. Yes, RFID cards may be useful for managing events, especially when they need to make it easier to reduce the line and collect revenues. People will no longer have to stand in long queues to get into the space.


RFID cards have generally transformed how we do several things in our lives. The fact that it has streamlined our daily operations makes it even better. That is why we always have people looking for the best quality RFID cards. JLTcard is a good supplier with a rich history of delivering on customer needs. You can also rely on JLTcard to help you decide on the best type of RFID card to pick.


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