Many times we feel that every card is the same, after all most of them are just a palm-sized card. But if you think about it carefully, you will find that there are still some differences. ICs and RFID cards may appear to be the same, but are completely different in essence. IC cards transmit information by making physical contact with a reader, while RFID cards communicate wirelessly using radio waves. This means that they are quite different from a security and practical point of view.

And in our article comparing the two types, we’ll take a closer look at these details, which will help you pick the right card for you. Of course, if you need a reliable supplier, you can also click the link to get in touch with us. All in all, this article will take you to fully distinguish IC cards and RFID cards, you can start with the catalog:

Table of Contents

IC Card & RFID Cards – Overview    

First, let’s understand both from the internal structure. An IC or integrated circuit card is a smart debit or payment card with a built-in microprocessor chip. The chip inside can quickly store all transaction-related data, such as secure identification for access control or details of e-money applications. In banks or places of payment transaction nature, we use IC cards to ensure safety. Due to its precise characteristics, people feel at ease when using IC cards.

And on the other hand, we also have RFID (Radio Frequency ID Card). The devices are equipped with tiny tags containing electronic information that can be read via radio waves to verify purchases. They are commonly used for event ticketing, tracking inventory, and more.

Although the two sound very similar, their differences are also noticeable. For example, almost all IC cards require direct contact to complete transactions and transmit information. RFID cards, on the other hand, use radio waves to complete transactions. Not only that, IC cards provide better security and protection measures than RFID cards. So when it comes to transactions in terms of amounts, it performs even better.

Detailed Explanation About IC Card

Have you ever wondered how IC cards work? This amazing technology stores data in a binary format, often containing unique numbers, account information, and security details.

However, these cards are read-only, so if you want to change any information on them, you will need to purchase an additional chip. If you want to access the data stored on the card, you also need a special card reader, which usually communicates through the contact points on both ends.

Such technologies are used in EMV cards worldwide for debit or credit transactions. They comply with international standards, so they can be accepted wherever payment terminals are located.

From the perspective of future development, IC cards are an important part of the modern digital economy. Although digital currency such as mobile payment is developing very rapidly, we can still see its use in the next few years. In many countries, it is very easy to see the use of IC cards for shopping and consumption; if you go shopping next time, remember to bring your own IC card.

Detailed Explanation about RFID Card

If you are looking for a more convenient way to conduct fast and secure transactions, choosing RFID cards is the right answer. RFID smart cards contain tiny tags (or chips) that allow contactless reading of items via radio waves to achieve transaction results.

In event ticketing, tracking inventory, or building passes, RFID cards come in handy. A key advantage of these special cards is that you don’t have to actually swipe or insert the card into anything; just tap the appropriate card reader to complete the transaction. In other words, since these cards are connected wirelessly, the possibility of being attacked will be higher than that of IC cards. Therefore, be sure to store your RFID cards in a safe place and do not share them with others.

RFID blocking sleeves
RFID blocking sleeves

Advantages and Disadvantages of IC Card

Advantages of IC Card

High security: IC card adopts password, encryption and other security measures to protect the security of data. The data stored inside the chip is isolated from the outside world, effectively preventing illegal reading and tampering of data. IC cards are more difficult to counterfeit and duplicate than traditional magnetic stripe cards, thus providing a higher level of security.

Versatility: IC cards have large storage capacity and can be used to store users’ personal information, financial data, electronic wallets and other functions. Various applications such as electronic payment, identity verification, access control, and traffic travel can be realized through IC cards, providing convenient and diversified services.

Strong reliability: Compared with traditional magnetic stripe cards, IC cards are physically more durable and anti-interference. It can withstand more mating times and has a longer service life. This makes the IC card more reliable in the environment of daily use and frequent interaction.

Large capacity: The storage capacity of the IC card is relatively large, which can store more data and applications. This enables IC cards to meet more complex business needs, such as storing more personal information, recording more transaction history, and so on.

Strong compatibility: Since the IC card adopts international standards, it has good compatibility. It can interoperate with various card reading devices and systems, and realize seamless integration with other devices.

Disadvantages of IC Card

Physical contact required: A major disadvantage of IC cards is that they require physical contact to complete a transaction, making them less convenient than RFID cards.

Short service life: Metal copper exposed to the air is prone to rust, resulting in poor contact and cannot be used normally. This is one of the reasons credit cards have expiry dates.

rusty rfid contactless chip
rusty rfid contactless chip

Expensive: These cards can also be quite expensive to manufacture and maintain, as they often contain advanced hardware such as microprocessors and memory chips.

Risk of loss and damage: Like other types of cards, IC cards also carry the risk of loss or damage. If the IC card is lost, there may be a risk of data leakage or account theft. In addition, if the IC card is physically damaged, the card may need to be replaced, which also means additional cost and inconvenience.

Advantages and Disadvantages of RFID Card

Advantages of RFID Card

Non-contact identification: The RFID card does not need to be in contact with the card reading device, it only needs to be read and identified through the radio frequency signal. This contactless identification makes RFID cards more convenient and practical, without the need to insert the card or make physical contact.

RFID cards of different shapes and materials
RFID cards of different shapes and materials

Fast and Efficient: RFID technology can quickly read and identify the information on the card without entering or scanning one by one. This greatly improves the speed of data acquisition and processing, and is suitable for scenarios that require fast processing of large amounts of data.

High reliability: Since the RFID card is non-contact, it is not easy to be worn, scratched or damaged, so it has high reliability and durability. This makes the RFID card suitable for scenarios that require long-term use, and it can also work normally in harsh environments.

Multiple identification: RFID cards have unique identification numbers, and each card has a unique code. This allows RFID cards to distinguish and identify a large number of cards, and can be personalized and managed according to the unique identification number of each card.

Automated and long-distance reading: RFID technology enables automatic identification without human intervention. In addition, the reading distance of the RFID card is relatively long, and the card reading device can detect and read the information on the RFID card within a certain distance, which improves work efficiency and convenience.

Disadvantages of RFID Card

Although RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) cards have many advantages, there are also some disadvantages. The following are the disadvantages of several common RFID cards:

Privacy and Security Risks: The wireless transmission nature of RFID cards makes them vulnerable to hackers or illegal reading devices. Unauthorized visitors may be able to steal sensitive information or tamper with data on RFID cards. Therefore, in the application of using RFID cards, appropriate security measures, such as encryption and security protocols, etc. need to be taken.(But if you add a shield card or a shield card sleeve, this problem will be improved)

Read range limitation: Since RFID technology is based on the transmission of wireless radio frequency signals, its read range is limited. The transmission distance of radio frequency signals is relatively limited and may be affected by interference or attenuation. This means that in some specific application scenarios, it is necessary to keep a relatively short distance between the RFID tag and the card reader.

Standards and compatibility issues: RFID technology has multiple standards and frequency bands, and different regions and applications may adopt different RFID standards, which brings compatibility issues to cross-regional and cross-system applications. This may lead to difficulties in RFID system integration and data sharing between different supply chain links.

Challenges of large-scale deployment: In a large-scale RFID deployment, managing and maintaining thousands of RFID cards and card readers may face certain challenges. For example, matching RFID tags to items, tracking and managing large amounts of RFID data, upgrading and maintaining card reading equipment, etc. all require certain technical and management capabilities.

How to Choose IC Card and RFID Card

When choosing an IC card or an RFID card, the most important thing to consider is your own needs and preferences. If speed and efficiency are paramount, but security is also important, the contactless convenience of RFID cards may be just what you’re looking for. It will guarantee a fast checkout process, bringing convenience to customers while also increasing efficiency for businesses.

Wine store top-up card
Wine store top-up card

But if your mission is primarily to reinforce the primary task, then it may make more sense to choose IC cards, which require direct contact with the card reader, which provides an extra layer of security in a way.

Overall, choosing an IC card or an RFID card depends on how you want to pay and how much security you need to keep your information safe. No matter which option you choose, it’s crucial to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from potential security threats.For example, IC card products are outstanding when buying alcohol in bars, which can free up customers’ hands to do other things. The RFID card is widely used in hotel door cards due to its wireless transmission function.

hotel key card
hotel key card

Newbega Company happens to be an expert in this area. We are a factory with 20 years of experience in card making, and our products are sold at home and abroad. If you happen to have a need for card making, you can contact us at any time. After reading this article, you will know how to choose RFID or IC card, and store it for future inquiries.

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