Almost all businesses these days run an ID card program and magnetic stripes are used to encode important data to ID cards. Magnetic stripe cards come in two variants namely, HiCo and LoCo cards. The amount of data that can be encoded is the same for both these cards and the main difference between these two cards is in the difficulty to encode and erase data on these cards. Let us look into the main pointers that make High Coercivity Magstripe Cards different from Low Coercivity Magnetic Stripe Cards.
High Coercivity Magstripe Cards
High Coercivity or HiCo cards are the highly recommended cards. These cards come in the color – black and are normally encoded with a robust magnetic field of power 2750 Oersted. As these cards have a stronger magnetic field, these cards are more durable. This is because the data encoded in these cards are not much likely to be unintentionally erased when these cards are exposed to outside magnetic fields.
High Coercivity cards are mainly used in applications where cards are swiped frequently and longer card life is required. Bank cards, access control cards, credit cards, library membership cards, employee ID cards, attendance cards. etc make use of HiCo technology.
Low Coercivity Magstripe Cards
Also known by the names Low Coercivity and LoCo cards, these cards are suitable for short-term applications and hence are not commonly used. These types of cards are usually brown and are encoded using a low-intensity magnetic field of over 300 Oersted. As these cards are not durable as the HiCo magstripe cards, they are mainly used for short-term applications like hotel room keys, and season passes for water parks, theme parks, and other amusement parks.
Both cards are printed making use of common ID card printers. While choosing a magstripe card for your business, you need to find out how long you want the cards to last. You may have come across a situation wherein your hotel room key suddenly stopped working and you got locked out. This might be because the room key might be using the LoCo magstripe card. Though inconvenient, magnetic stripe cards can be programmed again.
HiCo cards are recommended in most applications and the small difference in pricing for the HiCo Cards can be worth the reliability and value for money that these cards offer. An ID card professional can give you more details about these cards if you are interested in familiarizing yourself with HiCo and LoCo cards.