This article is to help you determine the best ID Card for your organisation solution.
The smooth surface and material of these plastic cards – generally at a size of (5.4 x 8.6 cm), require printing technologies different from conventional paper, laser or inkjet printers. These systems use special processes to durably apply the ink needed for printing on plastic cards, this is called ribbon, the ribbon applies ink to your cards and is the equivalent of the ink cartridge in office paper printers. Most ID Cards require some form of Card Holder which CMB ID Solutions has you covered.
Proximity Cards are very common for keyless entry used with access control systems to allow card holders into gyms and fitness centres, apartments, condo buildings, hotel rooms, large amusement parks, and more.
Proximity cards work by sending data to a card reader – if the data matches the system, the door will unlock. They are able to be read from a distance of the card reader rather than having to tap your card on the reader itself.
However, Proximity Cards along with Magnetic Stripe Cards can only hold small amounts of data, such as, to allow keyless entry. There is a more advanced option from both Magnetic Stripe and Proximity Cards, this is the Smart Card, this card uses multiple layers of protection to secure your data so it cannot be easily copied or stolen, making them ideal for cashless payment, parking garages, vending machines, paying for printing as well as unlocking doors.
The Smart Card is able to hold much more data than proximity cards as well as adding more data protection by requiring passwords and mutual authentication between the card and the reader.
This keeps your cardholder’s data safe.
One especially important feature is that it is tied to secure information or financials.
Slot Punch Cards
Slot Punch Cards are an important option to consider when wanting durability and ease of access for your ID Cards. The card having will mean you can combine a Slot Punch card and a lanyard will allow you to keep your cards visible in the office and if you need to scan or swipe cards throughout the day they also keep the cards close.
You have the option of both horizontal and vertical slotted cards, so however you choose to layout your ID card you will be able to have a slot to attach a lanyard.
However, if you don’t choose to Slot Punch the right spot, the results can be costly, especially with ID Cards, such as Proximity Cards – they have a system of copper antennas embedded within the card so if you slot punch in the wrong spot and cut through those wires you will break your card and it will no longer communicate with the card readers.
Punching only on the one vertical and the one horizontal designated spot is vital to prevent breaking your ID Cards.
Alternatively, you can order your proximity cards pre-punched from the manufacturer when you place your order to prevent damage.
Magnetic Stripe Cards
Magnetic Stripe Cards offer a low-cost to include more data on an ID card. When it comes to Magnetic Stripe Cards, an ID card printer will store (encode) data on a magnetic stripe, typically found on the back of the card. Most card printers offer a magnetic stripe encoder option without adding a lot of cost. Some encoders can even be added to a printer after purchase, depending on the model of the card printer.
Magnetic Stripe Cards, also known as swipe cards, can be swiped through a reader, then the card reader deciphers the coded data. This code can be for use of membership cards, hotel room keys, time and attendance systems, secure access, loyalty or gift cards. Magnetic Stripe Cards are also great for restricting access to some buildings or even rooms for certain employees.
HiCo And LoCo Magstripe Cards
HiCo Magstripe Cards are long lasting, more durable and are used on cards that are used frequently. These cards can be read easily by any magnetic stripe reader, cards are far more resistant to damage, even when in contact with a magnet.
HiCo – More durable, long lasting and for more frequent use.
However, it’s much harder to erase the data on these cards and recording the data takes a much higher amount of magnetic energy. HiCo card writers are also more expensive than LoCo Cards but they can write to either type of card. HiCo Cards are best if you want a long-lasting card that easily handles frequent use, such as your driver’s licence, credit and debit cards, company door access cards, membership cards and library cards.
LoCo Magstripe Cards are better used for either infrequent use, or for uses where the data is often changed on the card, like the gift cards you get in supermarkets. Just like HiCo cards, these cards can easily be read by any card reader.
LoCo – For when data changes are needed and are used for frequent use cards.
However, these cards are not as long-lasting and are far more easily damaged by any kind of magnetic contact, it takes far less magnetic energy to record your data onto one of these cards and buying a card writer for LoCo cards is a lot cheaper than for HiCo, but LoCo card writers can only write to LoCo cards. The main feature of LoCo Cards is that they are easy to change the data whenever you want, making them perfect for phone cards, store gift cards, hotel key cards and transport passes.
Self-Adhesive ID Cards are ideal for enabling your access cards to be reused by sticking your personalised self-adhesive card to your access control system cards, such as Proximity, Magnetic Stripe and Smart Cards. Therefore, printing on Self Adhesive Cards will be a cost-effective way of replacing the identification – picture, name and role description as if the card experiences some wear and tear for the picture and text it can be easily replaced.
However, Self-Adhesive Cards have a specialized size, CR79 cards, which may not be facilitated in every ID card printer. If you don’t have a compatible printer, I would recommend using a CR80 Adhesive Card.
Always check your printer’s compatibility for CR79 cards.
Signature Strip Cards
Signature Strip Cards have an area on the back of an ID card which is coated with a white or grey material that will allow the cardholder to sign their name on the card itself without the ink smearing. Having a signature strip for your ID cards will allow for more secure security and better authentication of staff, students, visitors and anyone who needs ID to get in and around your business/building.
The signature part doesn’t have to be a written signature, it could be a digital image instead, this will then act as the identification for the person’s card. However, remember to check your software as not all ID Design software packages are capable of incorporating digitalised signatures.
HoloPatch cards feature light-catching gold patches in the corner, this will produce a card with distinct visual authenticity that is difficult for anyone unwanted to alter or duplicate.
There is also a printing technique called HoloKote which produces an overlay watermark pattern across the entire face of a card. Combining both the whole face watermark and the HoloPatch will create a unique and easy to spot card even from afar.
These environmentally friendly, Biodegradable Cards are made from PVC resin which is treated to make them completely biodegradable in the right conditions.
However, although having an environmentally friendly ID card is great and under normal conditions they perform exactly like standard cards – when introduced into a fertile environment the breakdown process starts, completing in 1-5 years.
Blank ID Cards
With all of these complicated cards and all your organisation requires is a basic name and photo ID card for your employees, visitors, and contractors so that you can be sure exactly who is walking round your organisation. Purchasing an ID Card printer system for your company will enable you to quickly print all of the ID cards that you need.
Blank ID Cards are basic and can’t hold any special data for opening doors or paying for things etc. However, they are great to make sure everyone in your organisation can be recognised and also look professional. Also, they don’t always have to be White Cards, you are able to choose from a range of Coloured Cards to match your organisation’s brand.
It is important that you choose the right type of ID card for your business, as it can cause major problems, especially with security. Many companies introduce ID cards for their staff and employees because they display important information such as, the name, the job title and the department where that specific person works and with the added feature of a photograph on the card it will work well for instant identification for all employees. ID cards are also very easy to store in a safe and memorable place, such as a wallet or on a lanyard if you choose to have either a Slot Punch Card or attach an ID Cardholder to your lanyards.
Other benefits of ID cards for your business, is that the cards themselves can act as a great marketing tool as it may have your company logo on it and if you decided to display your ID cards using lanyards this would be shown as employees travel to and from work each day to the public who may see the company name and logo and decide to look further into who your company is.
ID cards will ensure that your security protects against any stranger accessing possessions, such as, business equipment. Only people from the inside with ID cards will be able to access them. This will diminish the chances of theft, however, if it happens that a piece of equipment is stolen, the thief would be found easily – by knowing who was in and who got out at the time of the theft, all thanks to the ID cards.