With the increasing global awareness of security, people’s need for personal and property safety has become more urgent. Card entry door locks have become a popular solution due to their high security and convenience.

Here, we provide a comprehensive guide to key card entry door locks and their systems. To help readers understand the application and significance of keycard door locks and keycard technology in modern life. Ultimately, it aims to provide a reference for choosing the appropriate security access control solution.

card entry door locks 1

The card entry door lock is an advanced electronic locking system widely used in commercial properties, like hotels, campuses, and apartments.

Take hotels for example, all hotel electronic locks within the hotel can communicate with a central system, and be controlled and monitored in real-time through its system. All hotel room locks and all key cards can be precisely controlled by the hotel door lock system, enabling flexible and secure access permission allocation.

The keycard entry system utilizes smart cards, proximity cards, mobile devices, or similar means as transmission carriers. This connects the room locks to the central system, achieving centralized control and management.

Utilizing dedicated card issuers, authorization information can be transferred to the key card. By using the specific key card, the electronic door locks that match the predefined permissions can be accessed, resulting in a high-efficiency card access control system.

Compared to traditional keys that are easily copied or lost, this card-based system provides a higher level of security and convenience. Additionally, this flexibility opens up possibilities for hotel owners and managers to integrate and upgrade technology further.


How Does Card Entry Door Lock Work?

card entry door locks 2

With the continuous advancement of technology, the field of key cards is embracing various emerging technologies, including RFID, magnetic stripe, NFC, and more. The application of these technologies gives key cards greater intelligence and versatility, allowing users to choose according to their specific needs.

However, despite the differences in functionality and performance among various types of key cards, the working principles of the entire key card door lock system remain consistent.

  • Key card programming: Authorized personnel enter authorization information into the door lock system. And then place a blank card on the key card programmer to transfer the information. When the screen displays “issuance is complete”, it signifies a successful operation.

  • Card reading: When a proximity card enters the range of the door lock reader, the lock automatically reads the access credentials stored in the key card and matches them with the internal database. If the match is successful, the door opens; otherwise, access is denied.

  • Room unlocking: After the door lock is unlocked, the user can enter the room for a stay. Modern key card door locks offer integrated functions, where the key card not only unlocks the room but also serves other purposes, such as activating room power and unlocking smart safes.

  • Unlocking records uploading: Card-swipe door locks can automatically upload unlocking records to the system backend. Whether it’s unlocking with a key card, smartphone app, or mechanical key, all records can be viewed in the system.

Key Card Types and Characteristics

IC card

IC card, also named smart card, microchip card, etc, is a standard plastic card embedded in a microelectronic chip. The communicate way between the IC card and the card reader can be contact or contactless.

Technology: Use electromagnetic waves for data transmission. When the RF card reader and the IC card have the same frequency, the IC card can transmit or receive data.

Application: Identity recognization, smartphone SIM card, bus card, metro card, parking card, etc.


  • Large storage capacity
  • Security and confidentiality
  • Hard to duplicate
  • Long service life
  • Anti-magnetic, anti-static, anti-mechanical damage, anti-chemical damage

ID card

The full name of the lD card is an identification card, which is a non-writable sensor card. ID card only uses a “card number” which means except for the card number, there is no security function in the card. And the “card number” of the lD card is public, exposed on the face of the card.

Technology: The ID card is a kind of read-only contactless card, it depends on the card reader to read the unique card number stored in the chip. Passive and contactless are the two most prominent features of the chip.

card entry door locks 3

Application: Attendance machine, access control, all-in-one card system, etc.


  • More than ten years of data storage time
  • Make sure the uniqueness of the card number
  • Security and safety
  • Easy to operate, fast and reliable

NFC card

NFC card (Full name: Near Field Communication card) is a short-range high-frequency wireless communication technology. It can realize simple and safe two-way communication between multiple electronic devices.

Technology: The basic function of NFC technology is to allow a device to collect data from another device or NFC tag within a specific range.

To some degree, NFC technology is similar to Bluetooth technology. But NFC technology can set up the wireless connection only needs the device contact each other without configuring all connected devices.

Application: Mobile payment, electronic ticket business, access control, mobile id recognition, credit card, debit card, etc.


  • Short-range secure communication technology (Usage range: 1-10 cm)
  • Non-contact point-to-point connect
  • 0.1s reaction time
  • Long working time

    RFID card

    RFID card (Radio Frequency identification card), is a kind of proximity card that uses radio wave technology. RFID reader can identify specific items and data by radio signals, without building a mechanical or optical touch between the card and reader.

    Technology: The most important advantage of RFID technology is non-contact identification, which can read labels in harsh environments such as snow, ice, and fog. In addition to fast reading and writing quickly, it can also be used for interactive services, such as tracking maintenance and processes.

    Application: Access control, parking lot control, material management, etc.


    • Higher transmission efficiency
    • Unique RFID tag
    • Simple structure and easy to read
    card entry door locks 4

    Wiegand card 

    Wiegand cards use Wiegand protocol technology, which is a communication protocol developed by MOTOROLA.

    Wiegand protocol also named Wiegand code, is a communication tool commonly used for reading and writing.

    card entry door locks 5

    (Source: Wiegand.pdf)

    When a key card reader recognizes a valid card, it transmits the key information via Wiegand, and then converts the data into data and sends it to the controller for the door to open.

    In essence, it acts as a “sound tube”, translating the information from the reader to the controller. Note: Wiegand technology can only transmit in one direction.

    Application: Access control


    • Easy to use
    • Low cost
    • Unidirectional transmission
    • Short transmission distance, usually less than 100m

      Magnetic card

      The magnetic card is a card-shaped magnetic recording medium that uses magnetic carriers to record characters and digital information for identification or other purposes.

      In typical magnetic cards, one side shows suggestive information, such as the direction of card insertion, while the back usually has magnetic layers or magnetic strips, with 2-3 tracks that store relevant information.

      card entry door locks 6

      Magnetic stripe cards are made of high-strength, high-temperature resistant plastic, which is moisture-proof, wear-resistant, flexible, easy to carry, and stable and reliable to use.

      Application: Credit card, debit card, bank card, access control, electronic game card, etc.


      • Cheap price
      • Have a wide usage range
      • Convenience, and easy to use

      Benefits of Using Card Entry Door Locks

      card entry door locks 7


      1. Efficient and convenient one-second recognition unlocking feature, providing an excellent user experience.
      2. Flexible system integration capabilities, allowing seamless integration with other systems.
      3. Key cards are easy to deactivate or replace, effectively reducing maintenance time and costs.
      4. Utilizes advanced encryption technology, significantly enhancing anti-copying and anti-tampering performance, ensuring outstanding security.
      5. Efficient access management functions, allow administrators to grant or revoke access permissions for specific users or groups at any time.
      6. User-friendly design, easy to carry in wallets or badges, providing a convenient keyless access control experience.


      1. Some low-quality key cards may result in an unsatisfactory swiping experience; continuous optimization of card quality control measures is recommended.
      2. While key cards are more secure compared to traditional keys, the risk of loss or theft should still be taken into account; users need to keep it properly.
      3. In spite of the fact that key cards are more secure than traditional keys, users should still be aware of the risk of loss or theft when handling them.
      4. Administrators should perform regular system maintenance to reduce the risk of hacking and strengthen key card security management.
      5. Key cards are made of plastic and susceptible to damage. So it is recommended to consider adding a protective case outside the card to extend its lifespan.

      How to Choose a Key Card Door Lock?

      card entry door locks 8

      The smart card entry door lock aims to provide people with a convenient access experience, enhance security in private spaces, and simplify building management processes. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a key card door lock.

      Budget Cost: Regardless of building type, the budget cost is primary. The price is a key indicator of the quality of the smart lock. Higher-priced smart door locks use more advanced technology and materials, with a more upscale appearance.

      We do not recommend choosing low-priced key card door locks since they may be prone to damage during use. Additionally, low-tech card door access control systems are vulnerable to network tools and illegal intrusion attacks, leading to expensive maintenance costs and security risks.

      Product Quality: Smart card electronic lock materials mainly include stainless steel, aluminum alloy, glass, and plastic. You should choose the appropriate material based on your building security requirements and personal preferences.

      Materials commonly used in locks are stainless steel and aluminum alloy. Stainless steel offers high strength, corrosion resistance, and high-temperature resistance, but style options may be limited.

      Aluminum alloy is lighter, has moderate strength, and is suitable for plasticity molding. It is moderately priced but less corrosion-resistant. The use of advanced surface electroplating technology and material selection can enhance lock corrosion resistance.

      Key Card Technology: Key cards are indispensable parts of a card door lock. Modern key card technology offers multiple options, each with price, functionality, and security differences. Choose the appropriate key card technology based on your needs.

      User-Friendliness and system compatibility: With the development of the smart era, the pursuit of high-quality stay experiences continues to grow. People seek safety and convenience while pursuing a high-tech and comfortable living environment.

      When purchasing a smart key card lock, besides considering security and design features, system compatibility and user-friendliness are also crucial.

      Compatibility determines whether it seamlessly integrates with existing smart management systems, while excellent user-friendliness enhances user experience and satisfaction.

      After-Sales Service: When making a purchase, pay attention to whether the card door lock manufacturer has an excellent reputation or a registered brand name. Because this is related to quality assurance and after-sales service.

      2023 Best Hotels Apartments Key Card Entry Door Locks Recommend

      YGS-9916 Product Highlights:

      case: ygs-9916
      • This lock is precision-cast from aluminum alloy, making it sturdy, durable, and highly resistant to damage.
      • The surface of the smart lock undergoes a spray coating process, resulting in a smooth and delicate texture.
      • It utilizes the Netherlands’ PHILIPS company Mifare-1 chip, providing strong encryption and high-security performance, enabling hotel keycard functionality.
      • Powered by 4 AA alkaline batteries, it can support normal usage for over a year.
      • Equipped with fake lock alarm and low battery alarm functions.
      • Features a unique hole-free micro-motor for sensitive response and extended lifespan.
      • Comes with a mechanical key for emergency unlocking.
      • Design patent: ZL201330134679X.

      YGS-9936 Product Highlights:

      case: ygs-9936
      • Stainless steel double-layer composite structure design, resistant to oxidation, rust, and corrosion.
      • Its obsidian black color presents a deep and elegant appearance, modern and fashionable.
      • Uses an encrypted chip capable of storing up to 1000 unlocking records.
      • Powered by 4 AA batteries, this electric lock can withstand over 15,000 unlocking operations.
      • Equipped with fake lock alarm and low battery alarm functions.
      • Features a hole-free dust-proof motor, responding quickly in 0.25 seconds without any stuttering.
      • Comes with a mechanical key for emergency unlocking.

      YGS-8881 Product Highlights:

      case: ygs-8881
      • Made of high-strength alloy, ensuring robustness and durability.

      • Featuring a unique parallel oblique angle design, the surface is coated with an advanced IMD film to give it a stylish and concise look.

      • 180° reversible handle, allowing easy switching between left and right, with simple installation.

      • Plug-in anti-theft lock core for upgraded security.

      • Patented new type of anti-peephole free handle for safety and convenience.

      • Lockable by simply lifting the indoor handle, making it convenient, quick, and flexible.

      • Equipped with an aperture anti-replication live-semiconductor secure fingerprint head, becoming more sensitive with use.

      YGS-8861 Product Highlights:

      case: ygs-8861
      • Offers multiple access methods, including fingerprint, PIN code, induction card, and key.
      • Equipped with low battery alarm, anti-tamper alarm, and password/fingerprint error alarm.
      • Made from high-strength alloy, cast in one piece, ensuring long-lasting durability.
      • Features a nano five-protection process mainboard, providing anti-static and high-pressure resistance.
      • Utilizes a bank-level algorithm fingerprint sensor for fast recognition.
      • Equipped with a hole-free dust-proof motor for stable and durable performance.
      • Includes a square-bar protection device, preventing the insertion of technical tools to rotate the square bar for unlocking.
      • Features real human voice navigation for easy setup.

      Online Enquiry Form

      • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

      Related Blog

      With more than 20 years of smart lock experience, YGS could provide a set of hotel door lock management solutions for your hotel business.

      how to use key card in hotel feature image

      How to Use Key Card in Hotel? Step-by-Step Guide

      The use of hotel key cards can bring numerous benefits to both guests and the hotels, such as cost-effectiveness, enhanced security, improved efficiency, and convenience. Consequently, hotel room cards have become the primary unlock way in modern hotels. In this article, we will delve into…

      how to install hotel door lock

      How to install hotel door lock?

      When your hotel receives a hotel lock system from hotel lock supplier, the first thing is to install the door lock. How to install hotel door lock is the first question you have to think about. This article will introduce you to some specific operations and precautions for door lock installation…

      how to replace door lock

      Hotels: how to replace door lock?

      With the generational change in the hotel access control system, the old hotel door locks can no longer meet the needs of modern hotels. For convenience and safety considerations, many hotels decided to replace the old hotel system. So, how to replace door lock? This article will introduce you in detail from…

      hotel smart room technology feature image

      Hotel Smart Room Technology: 9 Tech Elevating Your Stay

      As the smart era approaches, people’s living standards and pursuit of high-quality living are constantly improving. For hotel guests, compared to the hotel room rates, they are more concerned about the “experience” of the hotel. Hotel smart room technology… 

      Hotel Access Control Systems

      Are the Hotel Access Control Systems Necessary for Your Business?

      In this smart era, hotel access control systems are popular in hotels from big brands to smart hotels. Are the systems necessary for hotels? In my opinion, it is necessary. The hotel door access control system can make your hotel safer to a higher level and attract more…

      types of smart door locks

      Types of hotel door locks

      There is various lock for hotel doors on the market. How much do you know about the types of hotel door locks? This article will introduce you to the hotel lock types from different angles. Hoping can provide you with some valuable tips. What is the hotel door lock? Normally, when people stay in a hotel, they hope to have their own private space…