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How Do I Add a Barcode to My ID Badges?

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In the ID industry, barcodes represent an easy, convenient, and very affordable way of semi-covertly printing information onto an ID card. This information can be a serial number or an account number. In addition, barcodes can easily be combined with other card technologies, such as a magnetic stripe or a proximity card.

The primary advantage of using a barcode in a name badge is the ability to quickly retrieve information from a card like the identity of the user. Used in tandem with a barcode reader, barcode usage streamlines processes and increases efficiencies by:

  • eliminating input errors
  • dramatically increasing accuracy
  • significantly accelerating the authentication and check-in process

Any ID card printer can print a barcode, and there’s no special equipment needed. You simply need some type of software to generate the barcode and a barcode reader. Most entry-level and mid-level ID card software programs support a variety of standard 1D barcode types, including UPC, Interleaved 2 of 5, Code 128, or Code 39.

Generally speaking, 2D barcodes are more commonplace in mid-level to fully-featured ID card software. Examples of 2D barcodes include Quick Response (QR) codes, PDF417, or MaxiCode.

Most ID card software programs allow for adding barcodes to ID cards. The most user friendly program for adding the barcode feature is the software application CardExchange. It offers 2D barcodes in its Professional and Ultimate versions.

HID’s Asure ID Express will allow for sequential numbering of barcodes and even automatic population based on the entry of another field, which dramatically increases the speed of your card production process.

The type of barcode you choose will depend on your application and the amount of data you’ll need in the barcode. No matter what industry you are in, adding a barcode is an easy way to add security to your ID card application.

For greater, more comprehensive security, many organizations implement “barcode mask” ID cards. These cards provide an area with a “black mask” or “veil” to prevent unauthorized copying of the code.

To explore your barcode options based on your current ID card program, trust an ID Professional to help you select the one that’s best suited for your organization’s needs. Call us today at (800) 321-4405 x2 or chat now.

4 Responses to “How Do I Add a Barcode to My ID Badges?”

  1. Joshua says:


    We plan on adding barcodes to our ID Cards but we have a few concerns.

    .1 Wouldn’t someone else be able to scan and reprint another members barcode on a fake ID Card?
    .2 I believe the essence of the barcode is to reduce waiting time. How does the barcode achieve this?
    .3 Can the barcode be used as a security feature to authenticate each user?

    Looking forward to a prompt response.


  2. Kate Curtis says:

    Hi Joshua,

    Thanks for your questions on barcodes – I’m happy to answer them for you!

    (1) Yes, someone could fraudulently duplicate a barcode. As mentioned in the article, any ID card printer can create a barcode. With this, we wouldn’t recommend barcodes for a high security application. If this is a concern, you might want to instead consider using magnetic stripe cards or smart cards. (2) Barcodes reduce waiting time by allowing cardholders to simply scan and go, rather than wait to manually look up this data. (3) The barcode can be used to authenticate a user, but as mentioned in my answer to your first question, it’s not the most secure option available.

    Barcodes are an easy, cost-effective solution, however they aren’t ideal for all applications. Barcodes might not be the best solution for you if security is a concern. To discuss your options, I recommend giving our ID Professionals a call at (800) 321-4405. They can guide you through all of the options available and help you decide which is best for you. I hope this helps!

    Good luck!

  3. Joshua says:

    Thanks for the prompt response.
    I didn’t get a notification that you have replied that’s why I’m back so late.

    For our case, security is a concern but we also want a cheap solution.
    In any case I’ll have to sell the new idea to management and see how that pans out.

    Thanks again.

  4. Kate Curtis says:

    Hi Joshua!

    Happy to help! Again, if you’d like to discuss low-cost solutions, our ID Professionals would be happy to talk with you so that you have some options to present to management. You can reach them by calling (800) 321-4405 or chatting from our website.

    Good luck! I hope you’re able to find something that works for you.


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