For those unfamiliar with the inner workings of ID cards, it's easy to go loco trying to figure out the difference between HiCo and LoCo magnetic stripes. Don't fret; we're here to clear the air. Yes, magnetic stripe cards come in a couple different formats: high-coercivity (HiCo) and low-coercivity (LoCo). What's the difference? Well, practically speaking, LoCo cards are usually light brown in color, while HiCo cards are closer to black. HiCo cards are stronger and more secure. They're harder to erase, which makes them appropriate for applications requiring frequent use and long card-life. LoCo cards don't last quite as long, but they're cheaper and extremely popular for a wide variety of applications that don't warrant the strength of HiCo mag stripes.
Let's take a look at some examples. Peek inside your wallet and pull out your debit card or credit card. Notice the dark color, that's a HiCo mag stripe. High-coercivity magnetic stripes are used in the banking industry because they're very secure, and they can easily withstand frequent swiping. Dig a little deeper in your wallet and find your gym membership card, a bus pass, or perhaps a loyalty card for the nearest grocery store. Chances are these cards contain LoCo mag stripes. Security is less of a concern for these types of cards, and the low-coercivity stripe is certainly capable of holding up to regular use.
Both HiCo and LoCo cards are used for a wide assortment of applications, from access control and cashless payment, to time and attendance, mass-transit fare payment, check-in/check-out processes, and more. The type of card you use is of course determined by the application, but you could save yourself some money if LoCo cards are fit for the task. At DiscountID.com, we carry HiCo and LoCo mag stripe cards at prices that can't be beat.
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