Smart Cards

smart cards

What is a smart card?

A smart card is a physical card with an integrated chip that serves as a security token. Smart cards are normally the same size as a driver's licence or credit card and are available in metal or plastic.

Smart cards can be used for personal identification, authentication, data storage, and application processing. Smart card applications include identification, access control, public transportation, computer security, schools, and healthcare. Smart cards may provide strong security authentication for single sign-on (SSO) within organisations.

Smart card access control systems

Smart cards are used in access control systems to replace physical keys and add additional security features like encryption and tamper-proof technology.

Tensor smart cards and key fobs enable firms to restrict access to secure areas (both physically and digitally), allowing only authorised staff to enter and exit. Additionally, they are a wonderful option for effectively monitoring employee and visitor access in any company and can be used in conjunction with other authentication methods like biometrics or PINs for added protection.

smart cards
smart cards

How smart cards work

Each smart card reader transmits a 125kHz frequency field (the electromagnetic field), which is picked up by an aerial in the smart card. The reader has two read bands within this field; an inner and outer band, and these are controlled and rapidly oscillated by the reader onboard microprocessor.

The smart card microchip is a passive device that holds a unique factory-encoded ID number that cannot be duplicated, making it very secure. As a smart card enters the reader’s electromagnetic field, it is automatically activated by the field’s energy.

Smart card integrity

With up to 34 billion different combinations of ID numbers, there is no chance of duplication. In addition, each ID number has built-in security and integrity checks ensuring that it cannot be misread.

Smartcard integration

Tensor smart cards work seamlessly with time and attendance software, access control software, or HR software. A cross-reference list correlating the external printed card number and the programmed ID number is also provided for easy system administration.

smart cards

Key features of access control smart cards

  • Supported card formats include EM, HID Prox, HID iClass, MiFare, and DESFire
  • Compact, has no battery and can be read an infinite number of times
  • Factory-encoded ID code cannot be duplicated, therefore very secure
  • 34 billion different combinations of ID number
  • Unique printed and programmed ID number on each card
  • RF technology allows cards to work through wallet, purse or handbag
  • Hard-wearing and weather-resistant

In addition, we can also provide smart card software, which gives you an easy way to professionally produce your own ID cards with our ID Badge Designer. Simply print off adhesive labels for photos featuring your company logo in seconds, and the card is ready to use. Alongside this, we can assist construction sites with our specific CSCS card wizard, designed for contractors and workers, or prison passes approved by HMPs around the country.

Buy Smart Cards

Extra smart cards for your time and attendance or access control systems are available to buy on our online shop

Visit Our Shop
smart card case study

Case study: Bioquell

Bioquell originally approached Tensor back in 2008 regarding a system that could handle both electronic access control and time and attendance. The company employs approximately 250 members of staff in the UK, with 150 of them working across the two sites where the Tensor systems have been installed...

Click to Read

Smart card readers

Explore our range of proximity smart card readers and scanners for access control, designed to secure access to and from your business and certain areas or rooms.

Smart Card Readers

Control your workforce’s access control, time and attendance with our range of contactless proximity smart cards and smart card readers/scanners.

Cant find what you're looking for?

Enter a search term below (e.g. "Time and Attendance") and we'll find all of our relevant content for you.

Tensor plc accreditations

Keep up to date with our latest news & developments.

Be the first to get product and software updates and other important information.