All magnetic stripe cards aren’t created equally. There are two types : High Coercivity“HiCo” and Low Coercivity“LoCo”. Both cards can store the same amount of data; the difference is how strong the magnetic stripe encoding is. This determines how difficult it is to encode or erase the information on the stripe. Here’s a deeper look into each.
High Coervicity or “HiCo”
HiCo magnetic stripe cards are recommended for most applications, especially for cards swiped often and expected to last. These cards are coded with a black colored magnetic stripe at 2750 oersted which makes the card more durable when exposed to an outside magnetic field. The higher the coercivity level of the stripe, the stronger the magnetic field has to be in order to change the data on the card. This means they’re less likely to be unintentionally erase or demagnetize them when next to magnets such as a purse clasp. HiCo cards are ideal for credit cards, bank cards, library cards, access control cards, time & attendance cards, and employee ID cards.
Low Coervicity or “LoCo”
LoCo magnetic stripe cards are best for sort term applications. These stripes are usually brown in color with a low intsity magnetic field of 300 oersted. The low intensity magnetic field makes it easier to erase and change the card’s data, subsequently increasing risk of damage if placed by another magnetic field. LoCo cards are ideal for applications where data is changed often or the card isn’t used often. Great uses are for hotel room keys, theme park season passes, amusement parks, and grocery loyalty cards.
The key question to ask before you order is “how long do the cards need to last?” While HiCo cards may come at a slightly higher price, they are great for all around application and worth the price.
AdvantIDge offers a wide variety of all of the card printer systems, or other visitor management devices, to fill any of your asset tracking, visitor management, or identification card needs. From card printers and supplies for issuance, through to badge clips and other peripherals to put them into your users hands. With more than 40 years of combined industry experience, we’re ready to help you achieve your identification goals. For specific information please contact our sales department at [email protected] or call 800-965-5932 for more information on this update– we provide excellent customer service!