Unlocking the Doors to Reading with Digital Library Cards

Stadtbibliothek Dorsten wanted to move from physical library cards to a digital smartphone credential for convenient self-checkout of books and materials. ELATEC and idVation developed a two-part solution for Stadtbibliothek Dorsten: an RFID reader integrated into their self-checkout terminals and a digital wallet pass that acts as the user credential. Together, the two technologies act as a lock and key to open the door to the world of reading.



  • The system needed to support the same data formats already in use in existing library cards and records so user data could be retained
  • The mobile Wallet Pass had to be easy for users to add to their smartphones with one click, without requiring a separate app
  • The reader had to be integrated into the library self-checkout terminals using COMPort CDC


  • The TWN4 MultiTech 2 HF supports all HF RFID technologies, including NFC, and integrates with the library terminals
  • The NFC wallet pass acts as a card emulator and supports their required data formats
  • The TWN4 readers are easily configured for customer requirements using the SimpleProtocol API


  • The library has reduced administrative time and costs by eliminating physical library cards
  • Patrons can now check out materials easily using a mobile wallet pass on their smartphone

Success story

Logo idVation

ELATEC worked with idVation to implement a customized mobile authentication system for Stadtbibliothek Dorsten to help them transition from physical library cards to mobile wallet passes. The system is a win-win for both library staff and patrons, cutting down bureaucracy while increasing convenience for users. Instead of carrying a separate card in their physical wallets, patrons can now check out library materials with a wave of their smartphones.

A Mobile Wallet Pass for Library Self-Checkout

Stadtbibliothek Dorsten’s mobile wallet pass uses Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology, which operates at the same frequency as HF RFID (13.56 MHz). The NFC wallet pass acts as a card emulator, enabling patrons to use their smartphones for contactless authentication at self-checkout. NFC’s short read range (just a few centimeters) is ideal for secure data transmission. The wallet passes were configured to match the same data formats used in existing library cards, simplifying the transition and allowing the library to easily import existing user data. An RFID reader (the ELATEC TWN4 MultiTech 2 HF) is integrated into the library terminal, enabling patrons to check out materials by simply placing their smartphones near the terminal.

Man uses smartphone with digital library card for authentication

Easy for Patrons, Simpler for Libraries

Digital library cards are more convenient for patrons and reduce the administrative time and costs associated with managing physical library cards. To increase user adoption and acceptance of the digital passes, the library wanted to make sure that implementation would be very easy for patrons. The digital library pass leverages the digital wallet technology that is already integrated into the smartphone. Users can add their library pass to their digital wallet with just one click, without downloading a separate app. Patrons can easily set up their own passes using a QR code at the library front desk or a link sent via email. This further cuts down bureaucracy for the library and increases acceptance rates.

TWN4 MultiTech 2 HF: The Perfect Self-Checkout Companion

The TWN4 MultiTech 2 HF is a versatile single-frequency reader for 13.56 MHz technologies supported by robust software that enables fast and easy configuration and customization. Comes with 18 kB onboard flash storage and onboard Secure Access Module (SAM) socket. Available as PCB or with housing.

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