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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.