A retail membership card need not be very secure, but an access card to the police department needs to have a good level of security. Depending on the level of security needed and the implementation of the security features, you will need a specialized ID card printer to print the cards. Some of the security features available in an ID card program are shared below.
Secure ID Card Printer
When planning to have secure ID cards, you need to secure the system used to print the cards. Many varieties of printers are available with modern security features to prevent unauthorized use and theft. Password protection can be a very good way to safeguard ID card printers. When password protection is activated, users should enter the password to use the ID card printer. Some ID card printers also support a Kensington lock that can be used to secure the printer to its workstation.
Secure ID Cards With Visual Security
Several visual security attributes can be attached to ID cards. Some of these visual security features can be implemented regardless of the type of ID card printer that you own. An example is the peep-and-stick HoloMark seals that can be manually applied to ID cards. However, other features like holographic overlaminate will need a laminate ID card printer.
There are also ID card printers available that have an option to use a ribbon with a fluorescent ink panel, which can increase the security of your ID card with ultraviolet fluorescent printing. Fluorescent ink can be seen only under ultraviolet light and this makes authenticating the validity of the cards easy.
Secure ID Cards With Encoding Technology
The features like magnetic stripes, barcodes, smart card chips, etc can offer security and versatility to ID cards allowing ID badges to serve as more than just visual identification. ID card encoding technology has advanced much over the years and many advanced encoding options are available even on the basic ID card printers. Most of the ID cards available in the market are capable of printing barcodes. However, advanced encoding features like smart card encoding are only available on advanced ID printers.
Even though you use ID cards for visual identification now, you need to take into account future applications. You may not require an ID card printer that supports smart card encoding or magnetic stripes now but may need it in a couple of years. Many ID printer manufacturers offer field upgrades to smart card encoding, card lamination, magnetic stripe encoding, etc.