Hologram – In the identification industry, real holograms are not used as security ID card stock features. Tri-modal images, “security seals” that change colors when tilted and reflect off light, are the industry standard. The original image called Advantage(TM) was developed by Armstrong Industries in Lancaster, PA, and became a standard in the driver’s licenses industry. Armstrong’s patent expired years ago, increasing competitive and alternate priced options.
ID Badge – A worn ID Card that is either slot punched and attached to a strap clip or lanyard or placed in a protective badge holder.
ID Card – A non-worn card that identifies the holder and the organization the holder represents. This identification can be visual (printed logo, photo, and/or data), electronic (magnetic stripe, barcode, proximity, contact, or contactless smart card).
International Standards Organization (ISO) – The central body for formation and dissemination of industry standards for all national standards bodies.
Lamination – The durable outer layers of plastic ID cards. They are sometimes added as part of the personalization process for durability and security. PVC cards can be laminated during the printing process if they are made of a composition of PVC and polyester (composite stock). A laminate film can be manually applied after the card is printed. Teslin media must be laminated in a pouch made of clear polyester and polyethylene using a professional-grade laminator.
Loyalty Card – A loyalty card uses a barcode or magnetic stripe to track consumer spending and rewards recurring customers with points and discounts for purchasing new products and services.
Magnetic Stripe – The strip of magnetic recording material on the back of an ID card or badge that is typically made up of tiny iron-based magnetic particles, like barium ferrite, embedded in a plastic-like film inserted into PVC card substrate. A HiCo or high coercivity magnetic stripe offers a moderate security level with 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.
MIFARE (ISO 14443 A or B) – A standard contactless smart card RFID card format operating at the frequency of 13.56 MHz. 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. An example of a “B” format is HID’s iClass card, which has created a secure distribution channel working with authorized integration partners to use their secured/locked down format. The technical difference states: regarding differences in modulation methods, coding schemes, and protocol initialization procedures.
Near Field Communication (NFC) – A RFID communication protocol between a device like a smartphone and an unpowered device like a contactless ID badge. An NFC device can be presented to a compatible NFC reader to open a door, clock into payroll, purchase an item at a vending machine or a cash register, eliminating the need for an ID badge, card, token, or FOB. NFC operates using 13.56 MHz frequency and is considered High-Frequency (HF) RFID.
Oersted (Oe) – The unit of magnetic coercive force used to define the ability to change or encode the information on a magnetic stripe. A magnetic stripe encoded at a 4000 Oersted(Oe) is considered HiCo, or High Coercivity, and 2750 – Oe is an intermediate level, and 300 Oe is LoCo.
Offline – A secure card and reader transaction that is conducted and authenticated at the reader level and does not require connection to a central system. This was a standard in campus point of sales systems until mid-2005 or so for pay for print, copy, and vending. Most systems use a single-track magnetic stripe that retains an encoded value directly on the card that is used in a read/write format for managing both credits (adding value to the card) or debit (deducting value from the card) transactions. There are some applications of both contact and contactless smart cards in offline systems. There is a good application for contactless smart cards used in an offline mode for physical (door) access control, and most commonly seen on a hotel room door. Today many offline physical access control transactions are populated back to the online system by the contactless smart card itself.
On-line – A secure card and reader transaction that is read at the reader level but authenticated in a networked centralized system. The card itself carries no value. The online configuration applies to campus point of sale, physical access control, tracking, and time and attendance systems. Since 2005, online campus point of sale systems have become the industry standard replacing offline CPOS systems in the USA.
Personalization – Printing, encoding, and programming a card with data specific to an individual cardholder.
Physical Access Control (PAC) – A system that typically consists of at least a control device that is used to authenticate an individual and a locking device that is unlocked once authentication is valid. Most commercial systems include management software that program advanced controller boards or panels; or even the reader itself with its built-in controller. These advanced components control multiple readers and locations by using a series of user rights, time zones, and reader groups to which an individual is assigned. Most PAC systems use RFID badges as automatic authentication that may be combined with PIN and/or biometric presentation.
Prepaid Card – A branded merchant card with either a stated value ($25.00) or consumer specified value purchased for full value. The card is then used in an online mode at merchants that accept the merchant branded card until the value is reduced to zero. Major credit card brands back most cards today. Many prepaid cards can be reloaded today, increasing the recycle value to our environment. Prepaid cards are now being used to replace payroll checks via a direct deposit model for those who do not have bank accounts; 10-12% of the US population.
Promotional Card – Same as a loyalty card.
Proximity Card – A passive contactless card that is awakened and then broadcasts at 1225kHz and 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. It is offering a low to medium level of security with just a wave of the ID badge.
PVC – Polyvinyl chloride, the most widely used plastic material for ID cards. If you will laminate your PVC ID cards, ensure it is made from a composite of 60% PVC and 40% polyester to prevent melting and damaging any internal RFID chips in the card.