A card reader reads data from a card-shaped storage medium. Many businesses utilize card readers as their primary form of access control. Card readers use key cards instead of physical keys or codes to allow entry. Generally, there are two types of access control key card readers — proximity and magnetic.

With magnetic key cards, a magnetic strip similar to that of a credit card swipe in a physical reader. It grants or denies access based on the previously programmed rules of entry within the system. Proximity cards work similarly. Instead of requiring a physical reader to determine access, an RFID signal is utilized from a distance to allow or deny user access.

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