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6 Ways to Print Serial Numbers on RFID Cards

Serialization

Customers often want cards purchased from us to be serialized in one way or another. Serialization just means printing unique numbers on each card that correspond to similar information stored inside the RFID chip in the card. It is often used even without any RFID chip as it can be the card identifier.

This way you have cards numbered something like: 1001, 1002, 1003…

This serialization can be as simple as printing the card unique ID number on the back. It can also be more involved, such as printing a barcode like a QR code on the front of the card for automated reading.

As a company, we actually recommend that most customers have a serialized human readable number printed on their RFID cards or tags for a simple reason – it doesn’t require any equipment to look up information on the tag except your eyes.  And if the RFID chip is ever damaged, this number can still be read.

Human Readable Numbers

The image shown below shows some different types of card serialization that we can provide for our customers.

Examples of Card Printing Technologies
Examples of Card Printing Technologies

On the left side of the card, you can see 5 different types of printing we can provide.  The final one is in the middle bottom of the card. In order, these are:

  1. Thermo printing
  2. Gold Hot Stamp
  3. Silver Hot Stamp
  4. Laser engraving
  5. DoD Printing
  6. Embossed

Thermo printing uses a carbon foil to print nice black text on the card. Gold and Silver hot stamps are stamp printed on top of the card. DoD printing, which is also called Drop on Demand or UV Cured Ink Jet Printing, is printed directly on the card surface. The QR code and number on the right hand size of the image is also a DoD printed image. Laser engraving is cut into the card plastic, making it the longest lasting and most durable.  The others are good for years, but laser engraving is good for the life of the card. You might recognize the embossed number at the bottom middle as exactly what old school credit cards use.  This printing also is good for the life of the card.

MagStripes

Also as seen on credit cards, we can put a HiCo or LoCo magnetic stripe on any ID-1 size cards. While this is not human readable, we thought it would be helpful to show them in this article. The magstripe looks like the image below:

HiCo and LoCo Magstripe Card
Magstripe cards can be serialized too

A LoCo stripe is brown in color, while the HiCo is generally black.  Both can store a reasonable amount of data and are used for applications like library and student ID cards.

All of these technologies can be used with any type of RFID card – as long as you are not embossing through the antenna or RFID chip itself. We hope this helps you in understanding card serialization.  If we can help you with producing your personal and serialized RFID tag or card, please reach out to us.

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