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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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Understanding Smart Cards

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Understanding Smart Cards

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Smart cards are an extremely powerful and flexible technology to add to your card program – but if you don’t know how smart card technology works, how to order new smart cards, and whether you can print on the smart cards and use them as ID cards, it may seem overwhelming. This section will help you better understand how a smart card works, how to correctly order them, and how to integrate it into your current system.

  • What is a Smart Card?

    Smart cards come in several varieties. If you don’t know the difference between iCLASS, SE, and Seos, our experts are here to explain card technology so you can select the best one for your organization.

    • The Difference Between Prox & Smart Cards

      With a wide range of technology cards available, spanning everything from basic cards that just unlock your hotel room door to advanced multifunctional cards that seem to do everything, it can be difficult to tell card types apart and know when to use them.

    • Understanding iCLASS Cards

      Created as a more powerful and secure access control card, iCLASS smart card technology gives users more flexibility compared to a standard proximity card. Key upgrades include mutual authentication between card and reader and encrypted data.

    • Understanding iCLASS SE Cards

      iCLASS SE is a flexible solution that introduced multi-layered security to protect your card data. iCLASS SE cards allow you to integrate multiple types of technology into one card, ideal for mixed technology environments as you upgrade systems.

    • Understanding iCLASS Seos Cards

      The most secure of the iCLASS smart cards, iCLASS Seos uses secure open technology to help you manage and authenticate cardholders. Using the latest cryptographic algorithms, iCLASS Seos cards create a secure protocol to protect your data.

  • How Do I Order Smart Cards?

    There’s a lot of options when ordering your smart cards – making sure you correctly fill out the order (often matching cards you already have) will make sure the new smart cards work with your system.

    • Ordering iCLASS Cards

      If you plan to order iCLASS smart cards, clamshell cards, or key tags, use this ordering guide to understand your options and select the correct type of card and encoding that you need.

    • Ordering iCLASS SE Cards

      If you plan to order iCLASS SE smart cards, clamshell cards, or key tags, use this ordering guide to understand your options and select the correct type of card and encoding that you need.

    • Ordering iCLASS Seos Cards

      If you plan to order iCLASS Seos smart cards, use this ordering guide to understand your options and select the correct type of card and encoding that you need.

  • Can I Print on Smart Cards?

    Many organizations print on smart cards to use them as employee ID badges. If you plan to print on your cards, follow these expert recommendations to print high-quality, long-lasting ID cards.

  • How Do I Integrate New Card Technology?

    Upgrading your card system to use new smart card technology cards involves not only replacing your cards and possibly your readers, card management software, ID card printer, and more.

  • How Should I Display My Smart Cards?

    Smart cards are only useful if your cardholders can quickly and easily access them. Pairing your cards with accessories like lanyards or reels keep they close at hand for your cardholders throughout the day.