How To Choose A Scanner For Magnetic Strips

  • January 15, 2020
  • Blog

Magnetic card readers are essential tools for any business. These devices are used in a variety of ways to increase productivity and provide a better experience for the customers they serve. Magnetic strips are capable of storing 60 characters of a customer’s personal details that can be helpful for a business to have. Here’s how to choose a scanner for magnetic strips.

How Does A Magnetic Strip Card Reader Work?

A scanner for magnetic strips is a device that reads encoded information on the backs of credit cards, gift cards, ID cards, and membership cards. The strip contains magnetic iron-based particles that are covered using plastic tape. The strip is blank until an encoder writes information on it by magnetizing the particles in the direction of the North or South Pole. This encoded information on the strip is transferred using a mag strip reader to a computer program through either a keyboard wedge, serial port, or USB connection. The information is encrypted and converted into binary language.

Magnetic strips are either low coercivity or high coercivity. High coercivity cards use a higher amount of magnetic energy to store information and are commonly used in credit cards, employee ID cards, gift cards, and library cards. Low coercivity strips have shorter life spans and are typically used with hotel room keys, season passes, and bus tickets. You can typically tell the difference by color. High coercivity strips are generally black and low coercivity ones are a light brown.

What To Look For In A Magnetic Card Reader

The magnetic card scanner you choose should be accurate and reliable in reading data to prevent failed transactions. You should also look for a reader that can handle numerous swipes without wearing down or breaking easily. Look for magnetic ID card readers that included a long warranty claim. Make sure it features visual indicators as well as an audio and video feedback system to alert the user and customer in regards to whether a transaction is successful or not.

When looking for a scanner for magnetic strips, take your time to research which options will work best for your business. There are many options to choose from. Consider your budget and determine how the reader will help you improve your productivity, reduce costs, and help make your customers happy.