How To Choose Magnetic Stripe Card

A magnetic stripe card, also called swipe card or magstripe card, is a type of card capable of storing data by modifying the magnetism of tiny iron-based magnetic particles on a band of magnetic material on the card. It is read by swiping past a magnetic reading head. Magnetic stripe cards are used in credit cards, identity cards, and transportation tickets. They may also contain an RFID chip for access control or electronic payment.

Magstripes divide into two main varieties: high-coercivity (HiCo) at 4000 Oe and 2750 Oe (most common), low-coercivity (LoCo) at 300 Oe. Coercivity means the magnetic material’s resistance to becoming demagnetized, it is usually measured in Oersted (Oe) units to indicate the magnetic stripe’s strength. 

HiCo Magstripe

  • require a higher amount of magnetic energy to encode, harder to erase
  • Best for frequently used cards or cards requiring a long life
  • Card writers are more costly than LoCo recording machine
  • Ideal for credit card, access control card, library card, employee ID card, and membership card

LoCo Magstripe

  • require a lower amount of magnetic energy to encode, easier to erase 
  • have a shorter lifespan
  • card writers are much cheaper than HiCo recording machine
  • Ideal for hotel room card, time and attendance card, bus ticket, gift cards, theme park ticket

HiCo and LoCo magstripes can be read by any card reader. A HiCo card writer may write both HiCo and LoCo cards, but a LoCo card writer may write only LoCo cards.

Now, magstripes can be made on each Mifare smart card with a little cost. Magstripe additional cost.

Understanding Mifare Unique Identifier (UID)

A unique identifier (UID) is a numeric or alphanumeric string that is associated with a single entity within a given system. UID make it possible to address that entity so that it can be accessed and interacted with. 

  • A UID is different from “serial number”  that UID is in Hexidecimal and a serial number is an integer number.

 

  • There are many ways on how to turn the array of bytes into an Integer. In particularly a 4 byte Mifare UID, the most common way “Little Endian” or “Intel” reading method, that is starting from byte 3 to byte 0,  and the converted decimal number matched the printed number on the card. 

 

Example : BYTE 0 = E4, BYTE 1 = 3A, BYTE 2 = C9, BYTE 3 = D2,

Little Endian reading = D2 C9 3A E4 (in hexadecimal),

Little Endian reading = 3536403172 (in decimal) using the calculator in Microsoft Windows 

 

  • UID is a common expression, defined in the ISO/IEC 14443-3. In some case, some terms like RID, NUID (FNUID and ONUID) are not unique. 

 

  • The 4-byte UID is also called “Single Size UID”. The 7-byte UID is also called “Double Size UID”. The 10-byte UID is also called “Triple Size UID”.  Mifare Classic starts with a 4-byte UID, but the number of chips produced far exceeds the 4 bytes number  (4,294,967,296) around 2012. The new Mifare Classic card is using 7-byte UID. 

 

  • UID is hard coded on EPROM of each Mifare card and cannot be changed 

 

  • UID can be used simply as an identifier in the Access Control application.

 

  • More importantly, UID is used in applications to avoid fraudulence such as smart card store value prepayment.

 

We provide service to print UID on each Mifare Card 

Access Control System – which is the best?

An access control system is used for security purpose, including physical security and information security; it is the selective restriction of access to a place or into a network. It can help you to secure your facilities, assets, and networks.

Access Control System recognizes authenticates and authorizes entry of a person to enter into the premise or network thereby giving complete protection ensuring security with the system. There are different kinds of access control systems that can meet your unique needs

  • Swipe card access control system
    • the classic and can only see in the old movies
  • Proximity card access control system
    • good reading distance and secure, still use in a lot of corporate offices and offices.
  • Smart card access control system
    • becomes the most popular choice as the same card can be used in different applications such as library card, cashless payment, loyalty card
  • A biometric access control system
    • Looks elegant with higher security and convenience. The drawback is that a small percentage of people have a bad fingerprint and cannot use it.  

 

Check out AliExpress for a variety of Access Control System

 

4 Reasons to use Smart Card Payment System

Smart Card based payment systems have been introduced for more than 30 years; however, most people are still using cash payment even in well-developed countries. 

Why we want to introduce a smart card payment system into our daily life?

1. Cardholder convenience

This is a convenient way of making payment using your contactless smart card.  You don’t need to move around with a bulky wallet full of cash and no more hassles of keying a PIN to approve transaction or signing receipts.

2. Increased security and safety

This is a secure mode of payment that takes place between two devices. Mifare technology incorporates AES and DES/Triple-DES encryption standards, as well as an older proprietary encryption algorithm. This reduces the threat of hackers stealing valuable information.

3. Efficient gains and cost savings

Tapping to pay is much more convenient than any other payment methods. Customers can use a contactless payment card without taking it out of the wallet. It increases customer satisfaction as waiting time is reduced. On the other hand, merchants can accept more payments during peak sales times. Businesses can reduce delays without having to hire extra staff.

4. Improve customer relationship

With contactless payments, businesses can optimize their loyalty programs and improve customer relationships. You can send loyalty, membership, special offers, and reward to your contactless smart card payment system.

 

Nowadays, you can build a smart card payment system easily with off-the-shelf equipment:

Check out AliExpress on Smart Card Payment Terminals.

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Should you choose Proximity Cards or Mifare cards?

Proximity card, also known as Prox card, is a “contactless” smart card which can be read without inserting it into a reader device. Held near an electronic reader for a moment they enable the identification of an encoded number. The reader usually produces a beep or other sound to indicate the card has been read. Proximity card led by HID card has been widely used in the office door access and airport access control in the USA.

  • Read-only (1st generation) and Read/Write (2nd Generation)
  • Frequency:  125 kHz
  • Long reading range: up to 50 cm (< 15 inches)
  • Application: Access control (mainly)
  • Cost: very low
  • Security: high

Go to AliExpress buy Proximity cards and tags

MIFARE is NXP’s well-known brand. Mifare card has embedded integrated circuits in which the chip communicates with a card reader. Its main function is for storing data, storing values and authentication. Commonplace uses include transit tickets, school cards, passports, and bank cards etc.

  • Read & write
  • Short Reading distance: up to 10 cm (3 inches)
  • Frequency: 13.56 MHz
  • Standards: ISO/IEC 14443
  • Application: security, identification, access control, payment system, time and attendance, mass transit system

Mifare cards have much wider application use and the cost has been reduced significantly, that’s why nowadays people are moving to multi-function Mifare cards.

See our Mifare Product Line

Should You Print Your Own Company Badge or Outsource the work?

This is a typical question faced by many companies or schools when they need an employee’s badge or student ID badge for door access or time attendance.

When that happens, the critical question is – Is it best to print your ID badges in-house or outsource the task?

Print Your Own Badges

Of course, in-house printing is convenience and you can print it anytime. Most printers are affordable and will output an ID in under 30 seconds. This enables you to create new IDs immediately, as well as replace lost ones.

There is no need to contact your vendor and then wait a week or two for delivery. However, the quality of most low-end printer will have a difficult time to print on a thick contact-less smart card. Sometimes, the edge is misaligned and the color on the edge is fading. The blank application formated smart card can cost up to a dollar and it will be a waste to throw it away if the printing is not good enough.

Outsource Smart ID Cards Printing

For small companies, outsourcing can notably lower the overall cost of your card issuance program. There’s no need for additional hardware, staff, or training. Plus the outsourcing company you work with will likely be able to help you with your design needs – and advise on any additional security items or features on your badge. Simply call up your vendor or order from an online portal such as Buysmartcard.com

In the old days, it difficult to find a vendor that will print a couple of cards for you. With the advance of digital printing on the smart card industry, printing a few cards is very easy or low cost with very high quality. But the shipping may take longer.

 

In Summary:

Print Your Own Badges

Pros

  • No need to order your badges and wait for their delivery
  • Ability to replace any lost card on the spot

Cons

  • Must purchase everything needed for an ID Program – card printer, cards, ribbon, card design software, printer cleaning supplies and more
  • Can be expensive

Example: Go to AliExpress for ID Card Printer

Outsource Smart ID Cards Printing

Pros

  • No need to choose, invest in, and maintain expensive equipment and supplies
  • No need to have in-house design skills
  • Higher printing quality

Cons

  • Cannot print on demand
  • Cannot replace a lost badge on-the-spot
  • May not receive your custom cards in a timely fashion

See ID Printing

 

In addition, you can outsource your ID badge design at a cost of US $5 to $20 from a very popular site Fiverr

Can factory Pre-punch Cards?

Slot punching a card makes it easy and convenient to use with accessories like the lanyard, badge reel or batch holder that needs a hole to clip through. It is important to print your cards first before using a slot punch.

buysmartcard limited

The process of slot punching is better done in the factory for the following reasons:

  • Slot punches can be hard on the user’s hand if you are slotting multiple cards a day
  • If you aren’t careful enough it is easy to break your card or even your card printer
  • Contactless smart cards have a system of copper antennas embedded within the card – if you slot punch in the wrong spot and cut those wires you will damage your card
  • The factory will make sure that the cards are free of imperfections before delivery