Caring for Your Wiscard

University Housing residents and staff have increasingly experienced Wiscards failing to access doors in the residence halls.

The most common cause for access failure is that more mobile phones are using active, or powered, RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology, and the signal strength of newer devices has also increased. Wiscards use passive, or unpowered, RFID technology that is activated by a card reader. When a Wiscard is stored near an active RFID source, like a mobile phone, a card reader at a door will often see both sources at the same time and will deny access. If a Wiscard is stored long-term near a mobile device, such as in a card holder attached to a mobile phone, the active RFID signal from the device constantly “excites” the passive RFID chip in the Wiscard and “burns out” the Wiscard’s chip.

The Wiscard office has been surveying students coming in with defective cards, and the correlation between the cards being stored next to a mobile phone and cards failing is very high.

How to Properly Care for Your Wiscard

  • Do not store your ID near a mobile device or mobile phone.
  • Keep your ID in a protective card sleeve.
  • Keep your ID out of direct sunlight and away from other heat sources, such as a clothes dryer.
  • Do not allow your ID’s magnetic strip to be scratched by keys, coins, or other objects.
  • Do not allow your ID to be used as collateral for University services (i.e. letting someone keep your Wiscard while you have equipment checked out, etc.).
  • Do not punch holes in your card.
  • Do not apply stickers.