Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Tracking Physical Assets: Barcodes vs. RFID

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Tracking Physical Assets: Barcodes vs. RFID

Article excerpt

Barcode and RFID (radio frequency identification) technologies have streamlined the process of keeping track of computers, office furniture, documents, and other physical assets. Which technology is best?

How assets are scanned is one key difference. With a barcode, the scanner needs a line of sight that is only feet away, and each asset must be scanned individually. This can send a person under desks and behind furniture, which can lead to workplace disruptions. With RFID chips, a collection of assets can be read and scanned simultaneously from up to ten feet away.

While RFID scanning is easier, the tags themselves have drawbacks. Whereas a barcode can be placed anywhere, RFID tags need a layer between the tag itself and a metal surface. These special tags can range between $2.50 to $3.00 apiece. The typical cost of even a basic RFID tag, 15 to 30 cents, is still higher than the half-penny cost of a barcode.

The high price of RFID chips may dictate what type of assets they are used to track. …

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