Having a reliable ID card processing system is critical for consistent facility security and access for your employees, students and visitors; merchants need a good card processing system to conduct business. A part of getting the right card system is choosing the right card technology for your organization’s needs. Two of the best card technologies that we provide our customers with are EMV chip cards and magnetic stripe cards. Before our customers choose one or the other, we help them choose which technology works best for them by comparing and contrasting the pros and cons of each.
What is a magnetic stripe card?
A magnetic stripe card is the most well-known card system that is also known as a swipe card. As the name suggests, it includes a magnetic stripe that is typically found on the back of cards such as identity cards, driver’s licenses, bank cards and more. The magnetic stripe is swiped through a reader that understands each card’s unique information and data.
Pros of magnetic stripe cards
Inexpensive to implement
Due in part to the fact that magnetic stripe technology has been popular at least since World War II and is inexpensive for our customers to implement.
Easy to duplicate
When our customers need more than one copy of a specific card, magnetic stripe technology is a great solution, because it can be copied with the flick of a wrist.
Cons of magnetic stripe cards
Cards can be rendered unusable relatively easily
Although they are generally very reliable, magnetic stripe cards are not difficult to damage. A small scratch or exposure to the wrong type of magnetic force can sometimes render a magnetic stripe card completely unusable; this can cause a problem for ID card access. For example, some cell phone will deactivate the magnetic stripe if the two items come in contact. However, the better the quality, the better the magnetic stripe system will perform.
Easy to counterfeit
Magnetic stripe cards are not hard to copy; while this is a benefit, as discussed earlier, it is also a drawback. A counterfeiter can duplicate the relatively simple information stored on a magnetic stripe card with little more than a casual swipe.
What is an EMV chip card?
EMV chip technology works by embedding a small computer chip into the ID card instead of using a magnetic stripe. The acronym EMV is derived from the names of its creator companies (Europay, Mastercard and Visa).
Pros of EMV chip cards
- Supports dynamic authentication
By supporting dynamic authentication, an EMV chip card makes it much more difficult for someone to steal the data it stores.
Encrypts your data
Because the EMV system uses a computer chip to transmit data, everything can be encrypted for additional card security.
Difficult to counterfeit
One of the biggest threats that concern our customers is the risk of fraudulently copied cards. As they do not include an easily scanned magnetic strip, our EMV chip cards cannot be easily copied.
Cons of EMV chip cards
- It is a little more expensive
In order to gain the benefits of our EMV chip card solutions, our customers often have to invest in more modern technology, which can cost a little bit more than magnetic stripe card systems.
- It is not easy to duplicate
Although being difficult to duplicate provides some great security benefits, this adds an additional step to the process when an ID card is being replicated for any legitimate reasons.
As we guide our customers through the card technology selection process, we make sure that they understand their options and select the best system for their needs. Contact us today for more information!