Author Archives: Charlotte

BlogImage_Magicard-Rio-Pro-ID-Card-PrinterAre you looking for an ID card printer with a powerful built-in security feature? Magicard’s HoloKote adds a watermark over your printed cards, making it easier to tell authentic cards from those that are duplicates or have been tampered with.

The best part about the HoloKote feature is the price – which is nothing! The HoloKote tool uses the exact same supplies you already need to print ID cards (blank cards and ribbon) to create the watermark, so you don’t have to pay extra.

On the Magicard Pronto and Enduro3E printers, you have access to the standard HoloKote watermarks. You select from a list of pre-designed watermark patterns, although you can adjust the orientation to work with both horizontal and vertical card designs. Choose from an Ultrasecure Key, Interlocking Cube, Globes, or Waves pattern.

With the Rio Pro ID card printers, you can choose to use the standard watermarks (with the addition of a Cubes pattern) or design your own. This custom watermark is only used by your ID card program, making it even easier to tell if the cards are authentic.

The Rio Pro printers also give you access to HoloKote Flex, which allows you to change the size and location of the watermark.

Shop all Magicard ID card printers.

If you are using old card software, you aren’t getting the most out of your system’s design, database, and security features. Upgrade your system to the newest AlphaCard ID Suite software today!

A Software Edition for Every Need

AlphaCard ID Suite comes in four editions, designed for everything from a small organization that prints one-off badges to large multi-site businesses with thousands of employees.

AlphaCard ID Suite Light is the entry-level edition, giving you basic card design and database options. This software uses a built-in database that can hold up to 200 records.

AlphaCard ID Suite Standard is the most popular edition, featuring a wide range of card design features and the option to connect an external database, or use the unlimited built-in database.

AlphaCard ID Suite Professional adds extra security and database features to your program, with fully supported biometrics and compatibility with MS SQL, MySQL, and SQLite databases.

AlphaCard ID Suite Elite is the most advanced edition, designed for large organizations that prize security. With this edition you can password protect your files, customize your user authorizations, and encode MIFARE cards.

Not sure which edition is best for you? Try AlphaCard ID Suite’s FREE software trial today!

Zebra ID card printers come in a range of styles to fit any budget and card printing need – and DiscountID has all the supplies you need to keep printing with your Zebra printer.

Zebra ID Card Printers

The Zebra ID card printer family is wide ranging, with printers for everything from basic single-sided printing with the ZXP Series 1 to secure laminated cards in record time with the ZXP Series 7.

Shop Zebra printers on DiscountID.

Zebra Ribbons

To print ID cards, you’ll need a colored Zebra ribbon – either a full color YMCK ribbon, or a monochrome one. These ribbons come in all formats including full-color ribbons for single and dual-sided printing, half-panel ribbons, and monochrome ribbons.

Shop Zebra ribbons on DiscountID.

Zebra Cleaning Kits

Cleaning your printer regularly is the key to making sure it works well for years to come. You should only use the manufacturer recommended cleaning kits for your printer to prevent damage to the printer.

Shop Zebra cleaning kits on DiscountID.

Starting this month, students at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte will be switching over from magnetic stripe cards to contactless chip smart cards! These cards are popular with schools because of their use as multifunctioanl IDs and their long lifespan.

Benefits of Contactless Cards

One important feature of the new 49er ID cards are their longer lifespans! Magnetic stripe cards need to be physically swiped each time they are used, and constantly taking cards in and out of wallets and swiping them can cause a lot of wear and tear over time.

Chip cards, however, do not need to physically be run through a card reader to work – simply tap them against a card reader. This saves the university and students time and money by not replacing ID cards as often.

Additionally, the 49er ID cards will now be printed with a clear overlay to extend the card life even more.

The new cards are made from ISO-compliant materials, so they can still be printed on using an ID card printer.

Learn more about the new cards on the UNC Charlotte website.


You need ID card printer ribbons to print your ID card designs – but do you know the difference between YMCKO and YMCKOK, the two most common types of ribbons, and when to use them? We can help!

This is what the ribbon names stand for: Y (Yellow) M (Magenta) C (Cyan) K (Black) O (Overlay). With this set of colors you can print every color in your design, and an overlay panel to protect it.

When to Use YMCKO

YMCKO ribbons have a full set of color panels and an overlay. These ribbons will print full color plus black on one side of a card. The YMCKO ribbons are most commonly used for single-sided ID cards.

But if you need full color on BOTH sides of your cards, use a YMCKO ribbon – just be aware that the print yield will be half as you are using two sets of colors for each card (so a 400 yield ribbon will print 200 dual-sided full color cards).

When to Use YMCKOK

YMCKOK ribbons have a full set of color panels and an overlay for the front side of the card, plus an extra black (K) panel for monochrome black printing on the back.

YMCKOK ribbons are used for dual-sided ID cards where you do not need full color on the back of the card.

Shop all ID card printer ribbons on DiscountID.

Whether you are looking to update your current ID card system or buy your first ID card printer, our ID card experts are here to help! This quick, easy, and FREE tool gives you expert recommendations in just a few clicks.

All you need to do is answer these four questions:

– How many cards do you want to make per year?

– Which industry are you in?

– Do you need to print on both sides?

– Do you need magnetic stripe cards?

With this information our ID card experts can start recommending systems tailored to your organization’s specific needs.

Get your DiscountID Free Expert Recommendations today!

placeholder_ribbons_03Datacard ID card printers come in a range of styles to fit any budget and card printing need – and DiscountID has all the supplies you need to keep printing with your Datacard printer.

Datacard ID Card Printers

The Datacard printer family offers superior image quality, plug-and-play simplicity, and proven reliability. Printers such as the Datacard SP55 printer or Datacard SP35 printer offer excellent flexibility and security features.

Shop Datacard printers on DiscountID.

Colored Datacard Ribbons

To print ID cards, you’ll need a colored Datacard ribbon. These ribbons come in all formats including full-color ribbons for single and dual-sided printing, half-panel ribbons, and monochrome ribbons.

Shop Datacard color ribbons on DiscountID.

Monochrome Datacard Ribbons

You may also want to use monochrome ribbons – these ribbons have panels of a single color only, unlike the multi-colored ribbons. A monochrome ribbon is often used to print text, single-color logos, and barcodes. Do note that monochrome ribbons cannot do shading.

Shop Datacard monochrome ribbons on DiscountID.

Datacard Laminates

Laminating your ID cards will make them last longer and deter card tampering – an important feature for many secure businesses. Overlamiante film comes in a range of styles, including clear and holographic prints.

Shop Datacard laminates on DiscountID.

Datacard Cleaning Kits

Cleaning your printer regularly is the key to making sure it works well for years to come. You should only use the manufacturer recommended cleaning kits for your printer to prevent damage to the printer.

Shop Datacard cleaning kits on DiscountID.

placeholder_cardsWhen it comes to storing data on your cards, you can’t beat the ease or cost of magnetic stripe encoding. Most ID card printers have an optional magnetic stripe encoding module, and card design software makes it easy to add your data.

But when adding magnetic stripe cards to your ID card program, do you know the difference between HiCo and LoCo cards, and how to pick the one you need?

LoCo cards, or low coercivity, have a magnetic stripe that is encoded with a lower strength magnetic field. This makes the cards ideal for short-term use, like hotel room keys which will be erased and re-encoded after every use.

HiCo cards, or high coercivity cards, have a stronger magnetic stripe. This allows the cards to hold data for longer periods of time, and also makes the data more secure. HiCo cards are best used for payment cards like college meal plans or ATM cards.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when selecting magnetic stripe cards:

– Do you need to reuse the cards? Then you may want LoCo cards.

– Are the cards designed for temporary use? Then you may want LoCo cards.

– Do you need the cards to last a long time? Then you may want HiCo cards.

– Are you worried about data security? Then you may want HiCo cards.

If you need help discussing your options and creating the best system for your needs, contact the ID card experts at DiscountID!

BlogImage_Standard-Badge-Lanyards-2137-50xxIf you require people to display their ID cards, ID accessories are a quick and easy way to keep the cards visible and easily accessible. These accessories are popular with employee ID programs, visitor management, schools, and more.

Why Display Cards

Keeping your ID cards visible goes a long way toward improving security at your business or organization – it helps security guards or doormen identify people as they entire the building, helps control access to secured or restricted areas, and identifies authorized visitors and guests.

If your cards are multifunctional and will be used to unlock doors, pay for parking or lunch, or check out materials, ID accessories will also keep the cards easily at hand.

Most Popular ID Accessories

There are many ID card accessories to choose from, but our most popular options are lanyards, badge reels, and strap clips.

Lanyards are worn around the neck, keeping the attached ID cards front and center. Available in a wide range of styles and materials, lanyards are extremely versatile. They can be used to hold multiple cards and other items including keys.

Badge Reels clip onto your cardholder’s clothing, so they can be worn in a variety of locations. The retractable cords allow users to pull the cards out to scan without taking off the reel. Badge reels typically only hold one ID card.

Strap Clips are clear plastic straps attached to a clip which also attaches to the cardholder’s clothing like a badge reel. Strap clips are often used for visitor and temporary programs.

discountid_idp-smart-50s-mainIf you are looking for ID card printers with a lot of options and modular designs that allow for easy upgrades, we have recently added IDP ID card printers and supplies to the DiscountID website.

IDP Printers

IDP makes three main lines of card printers – the entry-level Smart-30, the mid-level Smart-50, and the powerful high volume Smart-70.

The Smart-30 printer is an entry-level model designed for small batch printing with a 25 card hopper.  Options include single or dual-sided printing, magnetic stripe encoding, and an upgrade to Ethernet connection.

The Smart-50 printer is designed for mid-sized organizations with its larger 100 card input hopper and 40 card output hopper. With the Smart-50 you can choose from single or dual-sided printing, magnetic stripe encoding, and USB or Ethernet connections. If you need longer-lasting cards, the Smart-50 has a lamination option too.

The Smart-70 printer has options for single or dual-sided printing, and an optional upgrade to a 500 card output hopper (standard is a 100 card hopper) for batch printing. The laminating Smart-70 also has options for single and dual-sided lamination.

Shop IDP ID card printers on DiscountID.

IDP Supplies

Your IDP printer can print any style of card depending on which ribbons you use – with a wide range of full color, dual and single-sided, and monochrome ribbons, you’ll find everything you need on DiscountID. Each IDP ribbon also comes with a cleaning roller.

Shop IDP ribbons on DiscountID.

You will also need cleaning kits to keep your IDP card printer running in top shape – dust and debris can build up over time in your printer and cause damage to the cards, printhead, and internal parts. As a general rule, we recommend cleaning your printer every time you replace the ribbon.

This process includes cleaning the printhead with a swap, blowing out any dust, or using a long alcohol-soaked card to clean the rollers.

Shop IDP cleaning kits on DiscountID.