This blog post delves into the differences between HiCo (High Coercivity) and LoCo (Low Coercivity) magnetic stripe cards. While both can store the same amount of data, HiCo cards, characterized by their black color and stronger magnetic encoding (2750 Oersted), offer greater durability and resistance to data erasure caused by external magnetic influences. They are commonly used in applications requiring extended card lifespans, such as credit cards and employee ID cards. In contrast, LoCo cards, identifiable by their brown color and lower-intensity encoding (300 Oersted), are better suited for short-term uses like hotel room keys. The choice between these card types depends on the desired longevity, with HiCo cards favored for durability and data security across most applications.
What’s The Difference Between a HiCo & LoCo Magnetic Stripe Card? The amount of data that can be encoded on to a card with a magnetic stripe card is the same for both HiCo and LoCo cards. The primary difference between HiCo and LoCo cards has to do with how difficult it is to encode
and erase the information on each type of stripe.
What’s The Difference Between a HiCo & LoCo Magnetic Stripe Card?
The amount of data that can be encoded on to a card with a magnetic stripe card is the same for both HiCo and LoCo cards. The primary difference between HiCo and LoCo cards has to do with how difficult it is to encode and erase the information on each type of stripe.
The High Coercivity Magstripe Card
High Coercivity or “HiCo” cards are recommended for a majority of applications. HiCo magnetic stripe cards are typically black in color and they are encoded with a stronger magnetic field (2750 Oersted).
The stronger magnetic field makes HiCo cards more durable because the data encoded on the stripes are less likely to unintentionally be erased when exposed to an outside magnetic field.
HiCo cards are common in applications where they require a longer card life and are swiped often. Credit cards, bank cards, library cards, access control cards, time and attendance cards and employee ID cards frequently use HiCo technology.
The Low Coercivity Magstripe Card
The less common Low Coercivity or “LoCo” cards are good for short-term applications. LoCo magnetic stripe cards are generally brown in color and they are encoded at a low-intensity magnetic field (300 Oersted). LoCo cards are typically used for short-term applications including hotel room keys and season passes for theme parks, amusement parks, and water parks.
When selecting a magnetic stripe card for your business, ask yourself how long you want your cards to last. Many of us have experienced a situation where a hotel room key stopped working. Magnetic stripe cards can be reprogrammed, but it can be inconvenient. In most applications, HiCo cards are recommended.
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