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So what’s the big deal about fake MIFARE RFID cards?

What are you on about Hardy?  What do you mean Fake MIFARE?

Well you’ve all received these emails with prices of Mifare cards that sound too good to be true, often sourced directly from China.

A simple follow up gains insight of extremely cheap prices on RFID cards, tags and inlays. A more detailed follow up reveals the chip you were offered the “fantastic” prices on are actually fake, cheap knock-off imitations of NXP MIFARE® or similar chips.

So what’s the big deal? What’s wrong with a little bargain? Nobody got hurt right?


Due to the fact that NXP’s MIFARE products are so successful in the security ID markets, they are the tallest tree catching the foul wind from black-market suppliers. NXP work hard to protect the integrity and safety of their products and the RFID market in general. The fake MIFARE products pose a significant risk to healthcare, education, hospitality and access control end users of the products as the fraudsters don’t follow the same strict guidelines for chip card security. Once fake chips are introduced to the system there is a real risk of security breaches the system was installed to prevent in the first place.

Additionally fake MIFARE products pose a significant risk to the buyer and can lead to reputation damage, lost revenue, legal problems, and loss of customer faith. SARS and the South African public lose out on taxation revenue that contributes to the alleviation of poverty and further self-destruction of our beautiful rainbow nation.

NXP recommends “phasing out MIFARE Classic” due to known security issues and upgrading to newer technologies. I personally recommend phasing out suppliers that don’t guarantee the originality of the products they sell. Card Technology Services (PTY) Ltd manufactures and sells only original OEM (NXP, HID, etc…) sourced chips and cards. We have been in this business for over 20 years and take pride in our reputation for value, credibility, reliability and honesty.

If you are unsure of the products you have bought please feel free to contact us and send us some of your cards and we will use our NXP Originality Checker to confirm whether your cards are fake or not.

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Access Cards – the case for RFID.

Access Cards – RFID security and saving costs.

Access cards play an important role in safety and security levels within any company. These cards are used to record an employee’s or access cards clients personal particulars and grant access to certain areas and information within a business. They are also used to provide clients with access to areas such as gyms, libraries and much more. Many companies require access cards to be printed on a monthly basis and need to outsource this service if they do not have a card printer of their owner.

Uses of Identification Cards in the Corporate Environment

Every corporation is always looking for ways to improve the running of their business. Whether it is in regards to their finances, the safety of their staff and clients, or the overall method with which they govern their company, we know that forward thinking will get you far in life.

Since the first use of RFID in the 1980s, the corporations have been relying more and more on this technology. Not only does it help to manage their staff, it helps them to keep track of their supply line, and manage everything from afar.

There are two main uses of identification cards in the corporate environment.

Gathering information

RFID cards are a perfect way to gather information. One of the benefits is being able to pull up information about where certain staff members are at certain times.  Also keeping track on what time they arrive or leave the company premises.

RFID cards also allow you to gather information about any members you might have. If you run a gym, for example, you will be able to see the days and times that your members generally turn up to your establishment.  As well as the average time they spend there. This can help you offer them deals and packages that relate to their own personal gym experience and increase your customers overall satisfaction.

Some corporations offer RFID membership cards for other reasons too. They could have started up a scheme whereby points are collected for purchases in certain shops. When the RFID card is used, they will be able to gather information about which shops the customers generally frequent, so that they can build up a better idea of which other industries to partner with. This will also help them to create deals and packages that are suitable for their client base.


Safety is an important part of any business. Not only do you need to keep your customers or clients safe, you also need to keep your staff safe.

By using an RFID identification card, it will allow you control over the areas that your staff can access.  Also denying access to customers or clients on certain areas of your premises. There are many uses of corporate identification cards, especially those with RFID integration.

Give Card Technology Services a call today, and we will discuss all the different possible uses.  Advise you on how to make the most of your own identification card. Contact Card Technology Services

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ID Cards, do we still need them?

Photo ID cards

An ID card is the printed and physical token used to positively identify a person.

An ID card can be a wonderful and easy to use tool if used correctly.

This identification can be done by eye or machine reading. It’s the degree of certainty that changes and this creates the need for more features such as fraud prevention, biometric comparison and password verification, to connect the person to the card and guarantee identification.

ID cards typically feature a colour photo of the users face and details of the user including name, surname and other necessary details relevant to the requirement.
For school cards an ID card can be integrated into a cashless tuckshop environment and school management system to ease processes such as small payment processing and access control. The card can also carry essential information such as allergies and medical conditions which are critical in situations where quick and essential decisions need to be taken Ie. bee stings or other injuries.

Company ID cards.

Most companies need to verify their own employees access into a building and those of their clients and it is often imperative that the accuracy and veracity of the data is quickly and effectively disseminated to the relevant persons. IE the card must be easy to use.
For situations which often require different people to work the potential exists for fake ID’s to be used to gain access to sensitive information or other valuable products. In these environments it is important to apply easy to distinguish yet difficult to forge features such as holograms and other card printing techniques such as guilloche and micro text.

An ID card is relatively easy to create and most are now printed onto PVC cards using dye sublimation desktop card printers such as SMART, Datacard, Fargo and Zebra.

Card Technology Services also offers a bureau service to print photo quality cards for clients. The clients can capture the ID photos using the Android App InstantIDer free of charge. The app automatically sends us the data and we print the cards according to your requirements.

Further links:

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Smart cards made better

Smart cards made professionally in South Africa by us.

The smart cards are printed and assembled by us. We make the cards from imported microchips from the worlds leading suppliers.  We stock a wide range of the most popular chips such as Mifare 1k and 4k, EM or Omega, NFC and Temic chips.

For detail information on the chips this site is an excellent source of information NXP Semiconductor (was Philips Semiconductors) and yes we use their chips. This means you may find the cheaper clones on the market but take note of security and your exposure to copyright IP liabilities. They may not be illegal in China but the original IP of NXP is valid and legal in South Africa.  This protects both the manufacturer and the client.  Clones and fakes although cheaper have damaged the reliability of established brand names like Mifare and NXP are committed to prevent this and so are we. If you think you may be using fake Mifare cards please ask us and we will show you how to tell the difference and let you know what chip is hidden in the card.

When we discuss smart cards, we mean cards that include an either surface fitted or an embedded micro processor. This is to allow the card to perform various data related functions such as data transmission, encryption, bio metric, data storage and wallet functions.

We refer to the smart cards with contact plates on the surface as “chip cards”. These are like your bank cards and GSM phone cards.
RFID Smart cards

For smart cards where the chip is embedded inside the core of the card we refer to them as ” RFID”, “Contactless chip” or “Proximity Cards”.

There are many different types of chips, and frequencies for transmission of data, so if you’re unsure of the card you require please give us a call and we’ll be glad to assist where we can.

RFID smart cards use radio frequency (RF) technology to transmit data to and from a reader. Each card has a wire (coil) embedded inside the card that connects to a capacitor and microchip. The coil powers the chip via the capacitor using induction current, harnessed from the magnetic field surrounding a card reader. The same coil wire also serves at an antennae to allow transmitting and receiving of data from the device.

The market for these cards is growing rapidly because of the obvious benefits of ease of use, speed and versatility.

Popular applications include public transport for fare payment, access control, cashless vending, parking, loyalty, electronic purse, gambling, road toll, student, employee IDs in government and corporate environments, e-passports and other secure travel documents, and cards for cashless payment.

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Get your ID Card Printer Now

ID Card Printer

Need a Hi-Tech, Reliable ID Card Printer? – Purchase Yours Today

While there are many ID card printer brands available on the market, one has to choose carefully to ensure that they obtain the right one. Smart ID card printers  provided by companies such as Card Technology Services offer the absolute best in terms product quality and value for money.

At Card Technology Services, we aim to provide you with top quality services and products, at affordable prices. As a leading plastic card printing provider in South Africa, we have built up a steady reputation over the years, and we are continually finding new way to improve the services we offer.

Our customers

Our customers are the most important thing to us. A lot of companies simply think about the next best way to make some easy money, and don’t care too much about whether their clients and customers are satisfied. Their prices are likely to be either incredibly low in order to draw people’s attention, or incredibly high to try and convince people that they offer high quality products. Then there is generally a lot of let-down. These companies might have a long stream of customers, but you are likely to find that there are not many returning customers.

We pride ourselves in the relationships we build with each and every customer we work with. We provide information that is both accurate and up to date; to best help our customers make the right decisions for their requirements. We will not lead you in believing that the most expensive is necessarily the best for you, we will suggest the products that we believe will work for both your requirements and your budget.

Our manufacturers

We only order from manufacturers that have a good reputation for quality, and that are good value for money. Our current list of manufacturers consists of SMART (IDP-Corp), Datacard, Evolis, Fargo, and Zebra.

Our advice to you

When you are setting out to purchase a plastic card printer, there are a few things to consider. You can go out and buy the first plastic card printer you find, as long as it fits your requirements and offers good value for money. However, it is always wise to shop around and see what else is available to you.

At Card Technology Services, we will talk you through the different types of plastic card printers we offer. We will ensure that you understand the benefits and the downfalls of each of the plastic card printers, as well as the difference in prices.

Our promise to you

Each and every new customer we work with, and each and every potential customer that gets in contact with us, will receive the best quality of care that we can possibly offer. We will take the time to get to know you as a person, as well as the full extent of your requirements.

If you don’t know exactly what you are looking for, we can help by make suggestions to suit your requirements. At Card Technology Services, we are experts in plastic card printing and plastic card printers. By talking with us about what you are looking for, we will be able to advise you on the best options and add-on that will work best for both you and your company.


Our offers

We regularly have new offers up for our clients. We stocks both new and used plastic card printers. Used printers come with a 3 month guarantee to give you complete peace of mind.

We know that budgets can be stretched thin in a business, especially if you are just starting up, and we want to be able to help you as much as possible. Our offers are always updated on our website, or you can give us a call and ask about them in person.


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How card printers work

Knowing how card printers work is key to meeting your expectations by understanding the process’ limitations and real life operation.

Summary: A card printer uses heat and pressure to digitally print an image into the card surface via a colour ink coated ribbon.

This is how card printers work.

Apart from the obvious difference of printing onto plastic instead of paper, the way a card printer works is different from your conventional desktop printer in that it uses a technology called Dye Sublimation to stain a card.

This is basically a process whereby heat sensitive ink, coated to a ribbon is heated by a print head. The ink turns to a gas and under pressure this gas permeates a plastic card surface layer, in effect staining it the colour of the ink. Using different heat settings the amount of gas that stains the card is varied and this causes shades of that colour to be printed.

Using additional primary colours in an additive process creates a vast range of colour that can yield excellent results in most cases.

The printers also use a technique called thermal printing which melts and fuses the ink on a ribbon to the card surface by heat. This is often used in the black or “k” panel of the ribbon. Also this is the method for printing spot colour ribbons such as metallic gold and silver ribbons. In this process there are no shades of the printed artwork and is mostly used for text and graphics printing.

To seal the gas and thermal printed image to the card a card printer will usually print a clear protective varnish over the card called the overlay or “o” panel. Without this panel the sublimated ink in the card surface would simply sublimate out of the card and essentially fade or vanish entirely.

It is important to understand that card printers print to the surface of a card.  The cleanliness and quality of the used plastic card is essential to receiving a quality print.
With direct to card printing it is also important to understand that while most manufacturers claim that their printers can print “edge to edge” the reality is that you should keep a white or unprinted border around the edge of the card. This ensures less rejects and prevents the ribbon from cutting due to the “scissor action” between the card printer head and the card edge when a heated head passes over the sharp edge of the card. While it sometimes works, I have found that it just causes long term problems. Pre-print the cards if you must have true edge to edge or use a re-transfer or indirect to card printer for “over the edge” printing.