ID Cards

What is Smart Card Encoding?

The definition of smart card encoding
Smart cards are the size of standard credit card (3.375″ x 2.125″). Similar to a magnetic stripe card, data is stored within the smart card components. A smart card offers added functionality and can hold up to 100 times more data than a standard What is Smart Card Encoding?magnetic stripe ID card. With an expanded degree of processing capabilities, these cards are also tamper-proof and can be reconfigured to add, erase, or edit the data they host.

Of all the technology card options available, smart cards are the most secure. They are also an optimal choice for accommodating a wide variety of sensitive data types, including:

  • identification details
  • personal information
  • financial data
  • biometric information

Smart card categorization
These types of technology cards can be categorized into two different camps:

  • A contact smart card has an integrated chip. As the name implies, a contact smart card must come into direct contact with the reader to process the information embedded within the chip.
  • A contactless smart card has a chip and an antenna. In order for the data on the card to be read, it needs to come within a specified distance to the card reader (this distance varies by smart card reader) but does not need to make direct contact.

How to encode smart cards
To encode a contact or contactless smart card, you’ll need an ID card printer with smart card encoding capabilities such as:

Additionally, you’ll need fully-featured ID software:

When ordering the printer, you’ll need to specify whether you require contact or contactless encoding.

If you have additional questions on how to encode smart cards for both contact and contactless cards, just call a knowledgeable ID Professional at (800) 321-4405. One of our favorite things is helping our customers!

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