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Understanding Card Technology

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Understanding Card Technology

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Plastic cards can be encoded to hold a wide variety of data, from a student’s account to check out library books or buy lunch to an employee’s access number to open doors with a prox card. With such a wide range of uses and data types, you’ll need to understand the different card encoding types and how they work to select the best cards for your program.

  • Overview: Encoding Options

    Selecting which style of encoded cards to use in your card program will depend on the type of data you want to store, and how you’ll use the cards. This overview will help you make the most informed choice.

    • Barcodes

      Barcodes are one of the most common types of technology, used in everything from school IDs to membership cards and fitness facilities. But they also hold a small amount of data, limiting how you can use them.

    • Magnetic Stripes

      Magnetic stripe cards are used in a variety of card programs including employee IDs, student IDs, retail rewards cards, membership programs, and more. With mag stripes, you have two types of encoding.

    • Prox Cards

      Proximity cards come in a wide range of styles, make it easy to incorporate a prox card system into any organization or building. Most prox cards come pre-encoded to match your system’s specifications.