Abstract Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) is one of the leading enabling technologies of the Internet of Things (IoT) at low cost and high granularity scenarios. The cost of implementing IoT applications concerns the development and operation of receiver systems for reading labels. In this paper, we propose a low-cost receiver system based on off-the-shelf components allied to the development of a microstrip antenna. The proposed system is capable of receiving and processing digital signals scattered back from a passive RFID tag. The proposal relies on a Python application embedded in Raspberry Pi hardware, in which a bank of digital filters processes the signal. The proposal separates the received signal into sub-bands and implements a decision-maker that detects and codes radiofrequency carriers’ presence in sub-bands. Simulation using artificial random noise proves that the proposed and implemented decision-maker achieves 92% reliability for a Signal-to-Noise ratio between 1.6 dB and 2.3 dB. The evaluation of the printed dipole antennas pair for the RFID receiver system indicates a return loss of 19.22 dB for operation at 915 MHz.