Understanding the Two Types of Magnetic Stripe Cards
For any business, it’s necessary to keep up with the market dynamics and finding new ways of improving its operations. The importance of adopting technological tools in offering business service can’t be emphasized further. One essential technology that has really facilitate most business operation is the use of a magnetic stripe card. This is a vital asset that has found a variety of applications in trading. Depending on the line of commerce you are in, there are different types of magnetic stripe cards that can work best for you. Before investing in a stripe card, you should first understand the options available get a clear insight on which one fits your exact business needs.
There are two main types of magnetic stripe card, which are the high coercivity magnetic stripe (HiCo) and the low coercivity magnetic stripe (LoCo). Although the amount of data that can be encoded on these two type of cards is the same, their major difference is based on the complexity to encode and erase information. It is estimated that 70% of Americans own at least one credit card and it’s only until a few decades ago that magnetic stripe was introduced in payment cards. The strip is an important element in a card as it allows personal details to be embedded into it. Details such as account number, the name of the card holder among other vital information can be easily captured in a card. Typically, the strip can hold up to 60 characters of information, stored magnetically. The information stored can then be decoded using a magnetic card scanner of an industrial document reader (Id Reader).
High coercivity cards
HiCo cards are perhaps the most widely used type of magnetic stripe cards, examples are financial cards issued by most banks. These cards are usually black in color and they require strong magnetic energy to encode. The magnetic energy used to process these cards not only make them resistant to damage but it also protects the data from being accidentally erased. HiCo cards are ideal to be applied in areas where frequent swiping is necessary. Some examples of cards that uses HiCo technology include credit cards, access control cards, library cards, financial cards, gift cards and employee cards.
Low coercivity cards
This is the other type of magnetic stripe cards and unlike HiCo cards, LoCo cards are ideal for short term applications. They are typically brown in color and information on them are encoded using low intensity of magnetic energy. As a result, LoCo cards are susceptible to damage and they tend to offer limited service. Some of its application include bus tickets, transit tickets, hotel room keys, amusement and theme parks.
So, when looking for a magnetic stripe card for your application, ensure you know how long you are going to use your cards. In addition, it’s crucial you the type of reader you’ll be encoding your car with. For instance, an ID reader can only write on either type of magnetic stripe card, but a RFID scanner has the ability to write on both high coercivity card and low coercivity card. While a magnetic stripe card can be easily reprogrammed, it’s good to invest on a card that is both functional and reliable. Choose a magnetic stripe reader that is compatible various computer channels such as USB, serial port or a keyboard wedge. Lastly, find an ID reader that is simple in design to allow data processing.