A magnetic stripe card is a metal card that has a thin strip of magnetic material on the back. This strip can store data that can be read by a card reader when the card is swiped. Pure Metal Cards metal magnetic stripe cards are widely used for various purposes, such as for member ID’s, hotel room keys, gift cards and access control cards.

There are two types of magnetic stripe cards: HiCo and LoCo. These are abbreviations for High Coercivity and Low Coercivity, respectively. These terms refer to the strength of the magnetic field that is required to encode and erase the data on the magnetic stripe. Coercivity is measured in Oersted (Oe), which is a unit of magnetic intensity. We can add a magnetic (mag) strip to any of our metals, except titanium.

Magnetic strips with high-coercivity means they are harder to erase and more durable than low-coercivity strips. This is suitable for frequently-used cards or those that need to have a long life. HiCo cards have a higher coercivity (typically 2750 Oe) and are encoded with a stronger magnetic field. This makes them more durable and resistant to accidental erasure or corruption by external magnetic fields. HiCo cards are usually black in color and are recommended for applications that require frequent swiping or longer card life. Examples of HiCo cards are credit cards, bank cards, employee ID cards, library cards, and access control cards.

LoCo cards have a lower coercivity (typically 300 Oe) and are encoded with a weaker magnetic field. This makes them easier to encode and erase, but also more susceptible to damage by external magnetic fields. LoCo cards are usually brown in color and are suitable for short-term applications that do not require high security or durability. Examples of LoCo cards are hotel room keys, season passes, gift cards, and loyalty cards.

Pure Metal Cards metal member card with mag strip - the american

How to choose between HiCo and LoCo?

The choice between HiCo and LoCo depends on your needs and budget. Generally speaking, HiCo cards are more reliable and secure, but also more expensive than LoCo cards. LoCo cards are cheaper and easier to encode, but also more prone to wear and tear.

The magnetic strip also holds two or typically three tracks of data.

Card Track One
Track one is the only track that contains the name of the account holder. This track also contains the information of the card issuing bank, including the credit account number, cardholder billing address, country code for the account, expiration date of the account and a three digit service code. The service code communicates to a buyer how the card must be billed, if the buyer has international purchasing privileges or just national purchasing privileges and whether or not a PIN number is required for purchase approval. Track 1 holds 79 alpha/numeric characters.

Card Track Two
Track two in the magnetic stripe of a metal card stores very similar information to track one with several important differences. Track two only stores numeric code, whereas track one stores alphanumeric code. This means track two cannot store information containing letters, only numbers. Track two may also include the primary account number and discretionary data like PIN number verification and the criteria for purchase approval.

Card Track Three
Track three is typically unused. Sometimes Track three is not even present on the card, as in the case of a two-track magnetic stripe. Retailers and other businesses may use Track three for purchasing data storage including any PIN required to access the account and total available credit. No standard exists for data stored on track three as exists with tracks one and two.

To encode your magnetic stripe cards correctly we require the following information:-

  • We need to know which type of magnetic stripe: high coercivity (HiCo) or low coercivity (LoCo)
  • Indicate which track to encode the data (usually track 1 or track 2, or both 1 & 2)
  • An Excel data file with the information that we need to encode onto the magnetic stripe of each metal card

We do not need the data file until after the cards have been produced though.

Pure Metal Cards metal metals cards and loyalty cards sets us apart from our competition and it can also set you apart from yours. Please contact us for more information about your specific metal card requirements.

 About Us

Pure Continental Ltd. provides the finest quality metal business cards and membership cards tailored to meet the specific and ever-changing needs of our customers. Pure Metal Cards are brand of Pure Continental Ltd. We help you make an impact. We ship worldwide via DHL, FedEx or UPS, and all our shipping costs are included in our prices.