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Encoding Magstripes 101
Knowing what you can encode onto your magstripe may be the most difficult part in the encoding process. Magstripe encoders are readily available and in the identification world the ID Badge printer is the device that manages this; however desktop and handheld swipe encoders are also a popular choice. ID Badge printers utilize an ID Software program for encoding however the desktop and handheld encoders usual come with a software that allows you to set parameters to what it is you're encoding.
What can I encode?
The following is an illustration of what a 3 track magstripe allows us to encode onto it. The same parameters are accurate in the event you are using a 1 track or 2 track magstripe.
Check out this article on biometrics in the education world located here at University Business website.
ColorID has been following the recent developments behind EMV (Europay, MasterCard & Visa) migration in the US. Over the past year, American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa have announced their plans for moving to an EMV-based payments infrastructure in the U.S. We'll keep you posted on how migrating from our current mag stripe to a contact/contactless payment method will affect you and your cardholders. The following are facts from the timeline and mandates:
Fall of 2011, Visa issued a plan to accelerate the migration to contact chip and contactless EMV chip technology in the U.S. EMV technology will help prepare the U.S. payment infrastructure for the arrival of Near Field Communication (NFC)-based mobile payments by building the necessary infrastructure to accept and process contactless chip transactions. Not only will chip technology accelerate mobile innovations, it is also expected to enhance payment security through the use of dynamic authentication. Chip technology greatly reduces a criminal's ability to use stolen payment card data by introducing dynamic values for each transaction. Even if payment card data is compromised, a counterfeit card would be unusable at the point of sale (POS) without the presence of the card's unique elements. By eliminating static authentication, there is a reduction for the value of stolen cardholder data, benefiting all stakeholders.
Visa's plan includes merchant incentives to upgrade to EMV & Contactless chip-enabled terminals, requirements for acquirer processors to support chip acceptance and the introduction of U.S. liability shift policies.
As such 3 dates have been set by Visa and they have been backed by MasterCard, American Express and Discover.
October 2012: Waive Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance validation requirements to encourage merchant investment in contact and contactless chip payment terminals. Will also require acquirer processors to ensure that their systems support dynamic data acceptance (i.e., chip) and will institute a domestic and cross-border counterfeit liability shift.
April 2013: Will require U.S. acquirer processors and sub-processor service providers to be able to support merchant acceptance of chip transactions no later than April 1, 2013. This is the only mandate that Visa has introduced into the US market, as Liability shift is not considered a mandate. Chip acceptance will require service providers to be able to carry and process additional data that is included in chip transactions, including the cryptographic message that makes each EMV transaction unique. Will provide additional guidance as part of its bi-annual Business Enhancements Release for acquirer processors to certify that their systems can support EMV contact and contactless chip transactions.
October 2015: Plans that effective 1 October 2015, the U.S. will be included in the Global POS Liability Shift Policy, which will apply to all issuers and merchants' acquirers in the U.S., with the exception of transactions at Automated Fuel Dispensers (AFDs). Transactions made at AFDs will be excluded from the liability shift for a period of two (2) years due to the challenges faced by the petroleum industry in upgrading terminals to accept EMV chip cards. Similarly, effective 1 October 2017, transactions made at AFD terminals will be included in the Global POS Liability Shift Policy.
HID has released a new reverse transfer printer called, "the FARGO HDP8500". It is being classified as an industrial ID printer for extended-run, high throughput and issuance identification printing. The HDP85000 is suited for large government ID card programs, laborious service bureau conditions, as well as any demanding university and large enterprise environments.
The printer has a solid metal case along with precision-engineered interior components to create a stable printer environment that operates reliably over continuous runs. The HDP8500 is loaded with features that maximize card yields like the ability to offer multi-card processing capabilities, 400-card input hopper capacity, accessible card path and graphical touch screen interface. These features are all designed to ensure continuous production, even in the most demanding environments.
ColorID has tested the new HDP8500 printer and although the unit is large and heavy due to the metal construction the print speeds, multi-functional printing and print quality are very impressive. After testing, we agree and confirm that this printer would be ideal for large output card offices and service bureaus. Standard reverse transfer printers are usually made from plastic internal parts that give way over time whereas the HDP8500 contains metal construction and thus should last many more card prints.
To learn more or schedule an onsite demonstration of the new HID HDP8500 by Fargo, contact ColorID today.
Here are a few specifications on the new unit =
Iris reader technology is extremely secure and safe for end users. There are multiple examples why iris technology is superior to fingerprint, hand geometry and other biometric physical access readers. Below is a bullet list of features and benefits of using iris readers for physical access.
ColorID is pleased to offer the latest iris readers for physical access from Iris ID (LG Electronics). If you'd like to learn more about iris for physical access, contact us today and we can set up an onsite demo or webinar for you.
Pre-Printing Card Options:
There are numerous types of ways to print onto a plastic identification card. The three most popular pre-printing options are:
High Definition/Digital Press: High Definition or Digital Press printing is ideal for low to mid-level quantities from 500 up to 10,000 cards. This process offers up to 3,000 DPI print resolution. The main difference from Lithographic is digital press plastic sheets are usually only 21 cards per sheet. End users can utilize multiple colors for their cards and incorporate PMS (Pantone) colors for their unique and custom branding. The proofing process has always been digital with high definition digital presses.
Dye Sublimation: Dye sublimation printing is done one card at a time on pre-assembled ID cardstock. This printing method is generally used for low volume printing. The dye sublimation process will apply color to the cardstock one color at a time: Yellow, Magenta, Cyan and then Black. Since this process only uses a four color process it is not able to match PMS (Pantone) colors. This process is excellent for quick turn projects, low quantities and variable printing jobs.
If you call ColorID we can help you decide what process is best for your project. We will ask several questions that we help us determine what is the best trade-off of cost, speed and the details of the final product. ColorID has many years of experience managing large and small projects and can help you identify what printing process is best for your carding project.
Why Should I Tune-Up my Printer?
Your ID printer needs to be able to print on a consistent basis, day in and out. We have all had scenarios where an unforeseen amount of cardholders come at the same exact time needing a card, only to have the printer stop working and have to deal with the frustration of not being able to offer the service we would like. Finding time to have your printer tuned-up can be difficult; however the benefits far outweigh the risks of not getting regular maintenance.
Here are just a few of the key steps that should be included in an ID Printer Tune-up:
Request a tune-up today
What types of barcodes are there?
Barcodes are broken down into two groups: 1-D and 2-D barcodes. 1-D barcodes have a limit of information they can encrypt (usually up to 14 alpha-numerical characters). The 1-D barcodes generally cannot store as much information but can be scanned with less expensive scanners. The 2-D barcodes have the ability to hold thousands of times more information depending on which 2-D you choose. With the increased information storage of 2-D barcodes, they can be used to store biometrics, images and more. There are a wide variety of 1-D and 2-D barcodes to choose from. Some are open standards and formats and some are closed and proprietary. The following are some examples of different barcode types:
1. Code 39 - Code 39 is one of the most common 1-D barcodes and is sometimes referred to as the "3 of 9 code". "USS Code 39", "Code 3/9", "Type 39". The 3 of 9 barcode is capable of storing characters 0-9, A-Z, and some special characters and can store from 8 to 11 characters. The barcodes gets its name because each characters is stored using 3 wide and 6 narrow bars (for a total of 9).
2. Universal Product Code (UPC) BarCode - The Universal Product Code (UPC) is very recognizable in the United States and Canada because it is the standard barcode used on almost all products and allows products to be checked out and tracked by the point-of-sale systems. The code only stores numeric digits.
3. Maxicode - Maxicode is a 2-D barcode that can store up to 100 characters. This code was developed by United Parcel Service (UPS) and is printed on their shipping labels to help track packages. The barcode is distinctive because of the bull's-eye in the center of the code, which allows the reader to find the code quickly and read it even if moving rapidly and in any position.
4. PDF 417 - PDF 417 is a 2-D barcode that allows up to 1,800 characters to be stored. This code also allows linking of more than one PDF 417 barcode to have even more storage.
ColorID provides ID badging software that can print a variety of types of barcodes for your ID badges. Our software packages allow you to choose from over 20 different types of 1D and 2D barcodes. We can also supply you with a number of barcode readers and ID printer's capability of printing barcodes on your badges.
In this week's blog, ColorID weighs in on the new Datacard SD260 printer. If you'd like to learn more about this new line of printers, contact ColorID today toll free at (888) 682-6567 or visit us online at www.colorid.com/.
Datacard's new SD260 printer will replace the SP35 series printer. This unit comes in a compact size with some advanced standard features. This printer is a simplex (single sided unit) printer with the capability to do manual duplex (dual sided) printing. There are several upgrades available including: magnetic stripe encoder, smart card personalization, 100 output hopper and option security lock.
The SD260 prints incredibly fast, high quality direct to card images without card jams. Datacard prints speeds for full color simplex printing are around 18 seconds a card. When we tested this unit we came up with very similar print speeds. This makes the SD260 considerably faster than any other full color, simplex printer on the market. Datacard has also included a new technology on its input hopper called "TruePick". With this technology it can pick cards (standard and thin) every time with no adjustments.
The SD260 also comes with several eco-friendly features including: Energy Star qualifications, biodegradable supply cores, recyclable supply materials and a separate power-down button. To our knowledge this is the only Energy Star rated ID badge printer on the market.
The new LCD Screen has soft touch controls (similar to an iPod glass screen). The unit also comes standard with USB & Ethernet. This printer has the capability to be a high volume printer; however its main drawback is its inability to print dual sided cards or apply lamination. The new system worked successfully through all of ColorID's trials and we believe this will be a great improvement from the SP35.
Throughout the card printing process, the SD260 printer showed outstanding print speed, no temperature operating issues, and it maintained error free operation through 250 card prints. Datacard includes a 30 month depot warranty with the printer. This is 6 months better than the previous SP35 printer.
Below are some of the SD260's specifications and options available:
The following tech tip is a quick overview on how proximity cards and readers work together.
The proximity card reader is wired to an access control system panel. The wires carry power to the reader, and data from the reader to the panel. The Reader emits an electromagnetic field called the "excite field". This field has an elliptical shape as shown in Figure # 1 below.
As Figure 1 shows, the field extends behind the reader almost as much as in front.
When a proximity card is brought within the field, the card absorbs some of the energy from the field. The card converts this field energy to electricity, which allows the electronic circuits in the card to "turn on" and transmit its number to the reader. The reader then sends the card number to the access control system panel, which then looks up in its database to see if the card number is valid and if it has rights to open that door at this time. If the card is approved, then the control panel sends a signal to the door lock to unlock for a period of time.
The card data transmission distance varies with card type and reader type. Larger, more powerful readers do exist; which can energize some cards at a much farther distance. The distance at which a card will successfully transmit data to the reader is called the "Read Range". The read range is approximate and can vary depending on the details of the installation. Maximum range is achieved when the reader is mounted away from metal and cards are presented parallel to the reader face. This allows the reader field to power up the card transponder at a farther distance.
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