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MIFARE card reader returns unexpected values

Article # 3015467 - Page views: 657


Problem Statement:

With Equitrac Office, Equitrac Express, and Equitrac Professional, using an Equitrac MIFARE reader, when you swipe the MIFARE card, it returns a 20 digit number, not the expected 8-digit "badge number" printed on the front on the card.


A MIFARE contactless proximity card can have many values stored on it.

By default, the Equitrac reader is configured to read the Card Serial Number (CSN), which is a unique value on each card assigned at time of manufacture. Many customers use the Equitrac Card Swipe Wizard or Card Self-Registration to assign this value as the Equitrac Primary PIN for the user.

The "badge number" is programmed by the card vendor, most often in a specific storage location on the card, and possibly in an encrypted format.


Use the  to test the cards and determine the values being returned from the card. Check if any of the built-in stock configurations provides the desired values.

If the desired value is not able to be returned by a stock configuration, a customization may be required.  In order for an Equitrac card reader to be able to read this value on the card, the reader must be configured with the data location (sector and block), the decryption key (if encrypted), and other relevant details such as data format. This information must be provided by the customer to Nuance to create a custom configuration. In most cases, the configuration of the card reader to read the badge number requires some form of customization, which is done on a chargeable basis. Before customization can proceed, it must be verified that the proposed card can be read by the Equitrac card reader. Please refer to the  for further information.

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