Id Card Security – Types of Blank Id Cards


There are a myriad of possible combinations of card types, but in the real world you are likely to come across the following ID cards:

Standard plastic card
Also known as: PVC card
Description: A simple plastic card, with no added features like magnetic stripes or chips.
Applications: ID only with no access control or payment.

Magnetic stripe card
Also known as: Mag stripe card, HiCo card.
Description: A plastic card with a magnetic stripe on the back.
Applications: Magnetic stripe is used for access control or for payment.

Contact chip card
Also known as: Smart card, Chip card.
Description: A plastic card with a visible chip on the front of the card. Contact is required between the chip and the terminal for the chip to operate.
Applications: Chip is used for access control or for payment. Their speed and relative low cost has made them the choice for credit cards and ATM cards.

Contactless card
Also known as: Proximity card, Prox card.
Description: A plastic card with a chip embedded inside the card, which is attached to an antenna, so that the chip can operate by radio-frequency, meaning no physical contact is required. Most of these cards are known as proximity cards, as they only work at short range – between a few inches to a few feet.
Applications: Chip is used for access control or for payment. For access control, contactless cards are better than contact chip cards for outdoor or high-throughput uses like parking and turnstiles.

Combination cards
Also known as: Combi cards.
Description: Cards that combine contact and contactless technologies.  There are two types of these – 1. Those with one chip that has both contact pads and an antenna. 2. Those with two chips – one a contact chip, the other a contactless chip with antenna.
Applications: These cards are the most expensive, and are often used for applications like mass transit or government cards.

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Source by Valerie Douard