Ultimate Guide: RFID Key Fob and Swipe Pass Copy

Ultimate Guide to RFID Key Fob and Swipe Pass. How to copy a key fob? What is a RFID key token, fob, swipe? Best copying service in Australia, Melbourne Victoria, Sydney New South Wales. Learn More and Learn About RFID!

RFID Key Fob and Swipe Pass Copying​

In this post, we would like to demystify RFID key fob copying for you so that you understand what we do to help you copy a key fob or key card. There is no magic to duplicating swipe passes, it is a simple procedure that is safe and quick.


Let’s start with ‘RFID’, it’s an acronym for Radio-Frequency Identification. As the name suggests, it uses radio frequency waves to communicate electronic information.

In the scenario where you hold an access key fob or key card that allows you into your apartment or office, the digital information being sent using radio frequency is a set of numbers ‘in zeros and ones’ that represents your key.


The key fob (or swipe pass) is actually not the RFID part, but the housing of the RFID. The RFID technology is actually inside the key fob or key card. These keys are also referred to by many other names including: Tags, Tokens, Swipes, Access Cards, Digital Keys…the list goes on…

At Copycat Keys, we generally refer to these as ‘Keys‘ to keep it consistent with the ‘lock and key’ concept.

Inside a RFID Key Fob
Image Above: Peek inside a RFID Key Fob (Copycat Keys 2018)


Readers are devices that talks to keys that comes into proximity of them and communicates back to the access system.

When the key fob or key card is placed next to a RFID reader, the reader provides the fob with a small amount of power to send the radio waves. That means these fobs or cards do not have batteries (and are referred to as ‘Passive’ keys). There also are ‘active’ keys which use battery to communicate to readers and are used in other commercial applications. We will not cover active keys in this article.

Continuing with the earlier ‘lock and key’ concept, the reader can be considered the ‘Lock‘.

Communicating between Keys and Readers

As mentioned earlier, these passive keys talk to the reader by providing them with digital information (the key code). The digital information is all in 1s and 0s.

There are three main types of radio frequencies by which keys and readers communicate. Frequencies are measured in Hertz (Hz).

Older RFID keys generally uses Low Frequency (125kHz) and newer RFID keys High Frequency (13.56MHz).

Copying a Key

Copying a key is also referred to as duplicating, cloning or copying. Regardless of the words used to describe the process, to copy your RFID key fob or key card it is typically done in a few simple steps:

  1. Our reader (which can read/write RFID) is placed in proximity to your RFID key fob or key card.
  2. Your RFID key then communicates the key code to our reader which holds the code temporarily.
  3. The reader then writes the key code from your key onto a new blank RFID key fob or key card.
  4. The new RFID key fob or card will now contain an identical key code as your original key (and hence a copy or duplicate has been made). 

Copying RFID key fobs is easy right? Now that you know how it works, have your keys copied with Australia’s most reliable RFID key copying service provider!

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