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Recommended School ID Card Solutions
To help make your job easier, we've done the research and developed three comprehensive ID card system solutions to meet the specific and unique needs of K12 schools.
There are three options: a barcode, magnetic stripe, or smart card each allow you to access or store different levels of data on school ID cards. With each, you can allow cardholders to enter the school, make lunchroom purchases, and/or checkout library books – all with a single school ID card.
Barcodes are the least expensive way to "store and access" data on a card and require the least amount of equipment, yet they are also the least secure.
A barcode allows you to easily access data on a card and does not require an encoding ID card printer or software with encoding capabilities. This is because the data is not stored within the barcode, but rather electronically in a computer. You simply need to make sure that your printer ribbon has a black resin panel to create crisp, easy-to-scan barcodes.
Requirements: All card printers are capable of adding a 1-D or 2-D barcode to a plastic card. You will simply need a barcode scanner connected to a computer that contains the barcode's data to read the barcode.
While a barcode's information is kept in a computer, a magnetic stripe's data is stored within the magnetic stripe of the school ID card. For example, when used for building access, each student or staff ID card holds data that will unlock preprogrammed doors. Simply swipe the card and, if you are a validated user of that door, it will unlock.
There are two types of magnetic stripe cards:
Requirements: In order to use magnetic stripe cards, you will need an ID card printer that is capable of magnetic stripe encoding and mid-level or fully-featured ID software.
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 magnetic stripe. It can be reconfigured to add, erase, or edit hosted data. Smart cards can be categorized into two categories:
Requirements: In order to print and encode a smart card, you'll need a smart card encoding printer and fully-featured ID software. This will enable you to print and encode cards for access control.
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