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6 Reasons Why Your RFID Card Stopped Working

rfid card stopped working

RFID cards are a reliable access entry device when handled properly. These cards have an integrated circuit that is attached to an antenna and then sandwiched between plastic. For communication between electronic devices, these cards use radio frequency identification which is wireless technology. This technology enables a contactless smart RFID card to communicate with a card reader within the ID card industry. The following are reasons you may experience RFID card failure:


1. Exposing the cards to extreme magnetic fields


RFID cards store information on a chip embedded in the card. The chip contains an internal memory and an embedded secure microprocessor. The chip in the card is powered on when the card is brought into the electromagnetic field of the reader. Therefore, extreme magnetic fields can wipe out a chip’s programming rendering it unusable.


2. Breaking the bond between the chip and antenna


An antenna and a chip are embedded in the plastic body of the RFID card. The chip in the card is powered on when the card is brought into the electromagnetic field of the reader. The card and the reader communicate using radio frequencies via their embedded antennae. When one uses the card for reasons other than what it was intended, there can be abnormal wear and tear on the card in the area of the chip. This will break the bond between the chip and the antenna.


3. RFID’s interference


When one magnet comes close to another, it affects the other card’s magnetic field. With RFID cards this interference is common. The card can get demagnetized and the data erased even from something as simple as a fridge door magnet if you keep them close enough for long.


4. Exposing the card to electrostatic discharge (ESD)


RFID cards have an integrated circuit within the plastic which can be wiped out by static electricity which destroys or damages the card’s sensitive electronic components and alters the magnetic media.


5. Physical damage


Physically damaging the RFID card is a common cause of dysfunction. It takes a lot to make the chip in the RFID card stop working but bending, mangling, and cutting the card will do the job. Most RFID cards can survive years of normal wear and tear. Also, extended exposure to salty water can cause your RFID card to stop working.


6. If the card is dirty


The card reader may not be able to process the transaction if enough debris or dirt gets between the RFID card’s chip. Luckily, this is the easiest one to remedy as you can use adhesive tape to pull off offending particles or wipe the card down with a clean cloth. It’s better to keep the card dry and soap-free, therefore, don’t use soap and water.



The RFID card needs to be replaced if any of the above has taken place. Proper handling and storage of the card are critical to its life. RFID cards should be stored in sleeves or cardholders to prevent damaging them.


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