ID Card Technology

Bar Code:

A barcode is a low-level security ID feature that is designed for simple data collection; job tracking, time and attendance, asset tracking, and membership identification. Place the barcode on your RFID, and/or incorporate with your mag stripe for single ID badge issuance. Laminate your badge to ensure the barcode and opposite side of the badge does not wear off when swiped in readers.

There are many barcode formats. Several are standards like Code 39, Code 25 and Code 128; Codabar is an outlier. Additionally, there are specifications that must be provided to be compatible and work in the intended reader(s).

"K"arbon-up! A linear barcode is an optical mechanically read series of vertically printed lines separated by white spaces; that when read by a barcode reader, represent an encoded alphanumeric value. There are three primary barcode reader technologies: infrared, visible light and laser. Infrared requires carbon in the printed bars in order to be read. The carbon-based format allows for a carbon-less barcode mask to cover the carbon-based printed barcode that can only be printed using the "K" panel of a PVC printer ribbon. Never use the YMC ribbon panels to print a barcode if use in infrared readers, they will not work when a correctly masked barcode is photocopied and presented to a reader for fraudulent purposes.

When a barcode is swiped in a fixed reader, most likely used in an employee time and attendance system, the barcode's height, width, and the distances from the horizontal center of the barcode to the bottom of the swiped bottom edge are critical specifications when producing functional barcodes. Most barcode readers require a quiet zone, typically .25" before and after the barcode to read properly. Know your barcode specs!

When a barcode is read by a pen or gun, you still need to factor in the quiet zone, height, and width as ergonomics are important regarding aiming a gun or swiping a pen so the barcode is read properly on the first attempt. it's best not to make thinner than .5" for best results. Refrain from placing on top of graphics and ensure there is a .25" white space, quiet zone before and after the barcode.

Proximity RFID (also called a proxy card or prox card):

Offering a high level of security with just a wave of the ID badge, RFID or otherwise known as “Proximity” is the number one preferred ID technology. Go ahead and incorporate your mag stripe and/or barcode for single ID badge issuance.

Proximity technology is a passive contactless RFID card that operates at 125 KHz frequency that is awakened and then broadcasts an encoded serialized ID value when it comes within the range or proximity of a reader's radio frequency range; which is typically an inch or two. Prox cards come in many different bit formats. Today in terms of security, the proxy card is not considered to be a very secure technology. It is more secure than a key, barcode, magnetic stripe, and PIN pad. If your goal is to keep the good person honest, then a prox card is still a good fit. If you are wanting to keep the bad person out, then the vulnerability and ease of card number reproduction make this a less desirable technology. Proximity card systems can be made more secure with the addition of a PIN pad offering two-factor authentication. If the most secured access is required, then a move to a contactless 13.56 MGz card and reader solution will be required.

HID iClass and NXP MIFARE Contactless RFID:

The highest level of security & authentication that has read/write capabilities for; payment applications, computer, and door access. S

MIFARE is branded standard owned by NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ: NXPI) and is a standard contactless smart card RFID card format operating at the frequency of 13.56 MHz meeting ISO 14443 A or B standards. There are many types, however, MIFARE Classic® is most common and meets ISO 14443 Type A. The easiest way to state the difference between the "A" and "B" formats is that the "A" format is considered an open standard, and the "B" is a closed/locked format. A good example of a "B" format is HID's iClass card that has created a secure distribution channel working with authorized integration partners that can use their secured/locked down format. The technical difference states: regarding differences in modulation methods, coding schemes (Part 2), and protocol initialization procedures (Part 3). Today in the US many MIFARE cards (A or B formats) are read just like a 125 kHz proximity card just reading the serial ID off of the 0 sector. Make sure the system you enable reads a sequential number that is stored in a sector that can only be read by the selected reader for the highest security. Store your biometric template on the card for the fastest and secure level of two-factor authentication!

HID Corporation's 125 KHz prox and 13.56 MHz MIFARE RFID Card Item Code Breakdown:
  • First three numbers are the card type
  • The second number is either "#" for 100% PVC, or "#" for Composite plastic (60% PVC / 40% Polyester) that is required for lamination
    • 1386 ISOProx II 100% PVC; 1586 ISOProx II composite
    • 200 iClass 100% PVC; 210 iClass composite
    • 202 Combo iClass and ISOProx II 100% PVC, 212 composite Combo
      • Above numbers are provided for reference only, always confirm specifications
    • Always order composite card stock because it lasts longer!
  • The following codes must be EXACT to match your current specifications, or new system specifications
  • Chip Format (iClass)
  • Programming
  • Packaging Front
  • Packaging Back
  • Card Number Options
  • Slot Punch (Never order pre-punched "N" code always
  • You must obtain your Card Format and keep securely on hand: H10301 is a standard
  • Know your facility code, or site code
  • Know if you use HID's Corporate 1000 formatting

RFID Cloning and Read & Post:

During the WE PRINT process, eXpress badge can duplicate existing RFID numbers (Cloning) to replace active old badges, eliminating system enrollment for the new ID badge. Or, we can Read and Post the newly assigned RFID ID number back into the source data file, per record, so you now know who has what new number for import enrollment, or manual entry.

Magnetic Stripe:

A HiCo or high coercivity magnetic stripe offers a moderate level of security that has a low cost of issuance for; door access, time and attendance, and payment. Place the mag stripe on your RFID, and/or incorporate your barcode for single ID badge issuance.

  • High Coercivity or HiCo Mag
  • Low Coercivity or LoCo Mag
  • Cash or Debit Stripe; Single track in Track II, III, 4, to 5 position


Encoding of magnetic stripes and RFID badges can be done for you or by you depending on the scope of project. Refer to our cloning and read and post options if you are rebadging.

Sequential Numbering:

eXpress badging can print and encode within customer provided ranges of numbers. Sequential numbering can be a visual element only, or to display a full or partial encoded matching value. eXpress badging has internal processes for tracking ranges, however, some customers have very complicated environments and require the watchful eye of both eXpress badging and the customer in these cases. The best thing a customer can do is to confirm that your ID Specialist documents your "from and to" sequencing range on all proposals and confirming sales orders. Do not assume we are correct, check your last order and confirm it. Until we can take the human out of this step, we must all look out for each other. If non-duplication of ranges must be 100% guaranteed to never happen, then eXpress badging suggests HID's Corporate 1000 program. Contact your eXpress badging ID Specialist for more details.

Veonics vID Secured™ Virtual ID Badge:

Once an ID badge has been approved and printed, the vID Secured™barcode can be scanned, then hyperlinks back to a virtual ID badge for real-time validation based on current status; using either a browser or VEONICS™ mobile app.

ID Badge Technology Testing:

In addition to the design and proof process, eXpress badging requires technology testing and sign-off for any cards used in each badge reader system. This ensures that the ID badges eXpress badging produces will work in all of your systems. eXpress badging requires a digitally signed test form by an authorized customer representative, or printed/signed/scanned version that is emailed to eXpress badging. Faxed versions are acceptable as well, and please email notification of fax afterward. The signed or approved test form establishes the full responsibility of the signer or person authorizing approval for customers approval. Only those systems tested and signed off, are guaranteed to work with all eXpress badging provided ID badges. Any badges requiring reprinting based on not working in the same specification tested, approved and produced will be at the cost of the customer.

Sample test cards are provided based on customer provided specifications. Test cards must be enrolled in each system used; then transactions generated for each test card provided. We recommend printing a transaction report in each badge reader system to document successful ID badge enrollment and transaction generation (badge works in the reader). Does the badge open the door, record a time punch, record a tracking transaction, and then record the transaction in the system using the unique badge ID number and person assigned to it.

Before customers procure any new system that uses an existing eXpress badging provided badge, it's suggested to use proper testing procedures before purchasing any new system. Call our support team if you have any questions.

Testing Guidelines

Testing starts by defining all badge reader systems being used; to include different manufacturers and/or readers in disparate locations. Provide the manufacturer's name, the supporting integrator/dealer information and point of contact for each system.

  • Physical Access Control Systems (PACS)
  • Time and Attendance Systems (T&A)
  • Tracking Systems
  • Network Logical Access (Single Sign-on)
  • POS | Point of Sale Systems
  • Loyalty Systems
  • Inventory Systems

Customer Supplied Stock:

eXpress badging offers a Customer Supplied Item Usage service where your stock is securely received, placed in inventory, pulled for printing, usage recorded, and we will return overage stock if required or retain for ongoing badge issuance. Your card stock must be "graphics quality" designed for dye-sublimation printing, in a new state, never issued, and in the original packaging. No exceptions allowed. Shrink wrapped preferred.

You'll need to ship 10% more stock than you want to be printed for quality control reprints, errors, and additional badges in case you end up adding a few more to the print job. You must confirm the card stock shipped works in your system(s) by properly testing a few in your readers. If our RFID Read & Post option is included in your proposal, we will capture the unique ID printed on the back of the card and update your data file with the numbers. This feature lets you know who has what card number without having to touch each badge. You can also use the list to import to auto-enroll if your system(s) has such a feature. If you have not yet ordered your stock, we suggest working with your eXpress badging ID Specialist to see if they can be included within your print job, typically saving you some money and time on the project.

Overage Stock:

Due to proofing, testing and quality control issues, it is considered industry standard to use up to 5% more card stock (Use Overage) than finally printed/fulfilled. eXpress badging's Use Overage of card stock is covered under the unit price of the printed/fulfilled badge item. eXpress badging's Use Overage will be stated on the final invoice and only remaining unused stock will be invoiced per stated price on the confirming order. If the eXpress badging's Use Overage exceeds 5% due to at-fault of the customer, the overage that exceeds 5% will be invoiced. At-fault issues include; incorrect data was provided, missing photos or wrong photo assigned, badge design changes after proof approval.

eXpress badging requires a minimum of 10% overage of custom printed or RFID specialty stock prior to the start of the ID badge print job; we call eXpress badging's Use Overage. For customers that have a critical must have by date, we suggest increasing the COMPANY Use Overage to 20%. Custom printing applies to any specialty cardstock (embedded security seals, pre-printed cards or badges, high graphics logo printing...) that requires pre-printing and pre-ordering before the ID badge personalization process. RFID specialty stock will be for non-standard proximity or contactless cards that must be pre-ordered from specified card manufacturers (HID iClass, AptiQ RFID stock etc) with customer-specific programming. Any remaining overage of stock will be invoiced separately at a stated rate on confirming sales orders.

If COMPANY has an at-fault print-error rate more than 5% printed/fulfilled using customer provided stock, we will credit the order the cost of the stock used. CUSTOMER will need to provide COMPANY with an actual invoice stating the card stock item code, and unit or box price. COMPANY has the option of providing replacement stock if available.