The Complete ID
Printer Buyer's Guide

This guide walks you through all the important considerations you'll need to know when selecting an ID card printer.

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Encoding Options

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There are several ways to encode cards, each designed to hold a different style or amount of data – selecting the best encoding method for your ID cards really depends on how you will use the cards.

  • Barcode Encoding

    Barcodes are the most common type of encoding used with ID cards, from retail membership programs to cashless payment systems at schools.

  • Magnetic Stripe Encoding

    Requiring specialized cards and a printer upgrade, magnetic stripe encoding is more expensive but offers more flexibility than barcodes.

  • Smart Card & RFID Encoding

    An advanced form of encoding, smart cards and RFID cards use chips or wireless antennas to send card data to the card reader.

  • Proximity Card Encoding

    Proximity cards, a type of smart card, are used for access control to unlock doors without the use of a traditional key system.