Magnetic Stripe Cards: What Are My Options?

Magnetic Stripe CardsWhen businesses are looking to add more security or data capability to their security system, magnetic stripe cards are a common choice. This is the technology found in credit cards. It’s a common choice because it very reliable and is easy to manufacture.

Types of Magnetic Stripe Cards

There are two types of magnetic stripe cards. HiCo and LoCo. HiCO stands for high coercivity and contains a magnetic field of 2750 Oersted. LoCo stands for low coercivity and has a weaker magnetic field of 300 Oersted. For both HiCo and LoCo, the stripe is placed in the same location on the back of the card so that they can both be read by standard readers. There is, however, a difference in color. HiCo stripes are typically black while LoCo stripes are typically brown.

HiCo cards are able to store encoded data more reliably because of the stronger magnetic field. This means that they are not as likely to get corrupted information in the vicinity of another magnetic field. LoCo cards, on the other hand are not as reliable for this type of usage. Because of there lower magnetic field they are better for short term uses such as park tickets or public transit passes.

Though the LoCo cards are a little cheaper, the cost difference is not as great as you might think. Because of this, the HiCo magnetic stripe cards are recommended in most cases. If you’re a business, school or other establishment that needs to store date long term, there is no doubt that HiCo is the way to go.