A magnetic stripe card, also called swipe card or magstripe card, is a type of card capable of storing data by modifying the magnetism of tiny iron-based magnetic particles on a band of magnetic material on the card. It is read by swiping past a magnetic reading head. Magnetic stripe cards are used in credit cards, identity cards, and transportation tickets. They may also contain an RFID chip for access control or electronic payment.
Magstripes divide into two main varieties: high-coercivity (HiCo) at 4000 Oe and 2750 Oe (most common), low-coercivity (LoCo) at 300 Oe. Coercivity means the magnetic material’s resistance to becoming demagnetized, it is usually measured in Oersted (Oe) units to indicate the magnetic stripe’s strength.
- require a higher amount of magnetic energy to encode, harder to erase
- Best for frequently used cards or cards requiring a long life
- Card writers are more costly than LoCo recording machine
- Ideal for credit card, access control card, library card, employee ID card, and membership card
- require a lower amount of magnetic energy to encode, easier to erase
- have a shorter lifespan
- card writers are much cheaper than HiCo recording machine
- Ideal for hotel room card, time and attendance card, bus ticket, gift cards, theme park ticket
HiCo and LoCo magstripes can be read by any card reader. A HiCo card writer may write both HiCo and LoCo cards, but a LoCo card writer may write only LoCo cards.
Now, magstripes can be made on each Mifare smart card with a little cost. Magstripe additional cost.