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Plastic Card Printing Terminology

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Plastic Access Card
Magnetic or chip cards with or without photo used to enter restricted areas eg. ID badges.

Blank Plastic Cards
Cards with no printing usually used in imagining machines

A measure of the strength of a magnetic field. Fields are expressed as low or high by the terms LoCo and HiCo.

A point of electrical connection between a smart card and its external interface device.

Contact Card
Any card where information is transferred to a reader via a series of contact points located on the card.

Magnetic stripe data erasure.

Conversion of non-textual data to digital form.

Characters in relief on the front surface of a card.

Recording electronic information on to a magnetic stripe.

Transferring information based on a key to make it un-intelligible to unauthorized parties.

Electronic Gift Card
A retail prepaid card usually initiated at cash or checkout.

Programming a smart card chip with data that is the same for a batch of cards.

ID Card
Card which identifies both the bearer and the issuer. All financial transaction cards are ID cards.

International Standards Organization, central body for formation and dissemination of industry standards for all national standards bodies.

An individual or organization that issues identification cards to individual or corporate cardholders.

Lithography or Offset Printing
Most common process for plastic card printing based on the concept that oil and water are not compatible. The ink represents the oil and the alkaline fountain solution represents the water. These are the two main components which must interact during the printing process, allowing the ink to adhere to the image area of a printing plate while the fountain solution repels the ink from the non-image area.

Using plates on a press to fuse the various layers of a plastic card together.

Loyalty Card
Usually a retail frequent user card offering promotional benefits.

Magnetic Stripe
The strip of magnetic recording material on an ID card.

Plastic Membership Card
Usually a club member card for ID purpose.

Non-magnetic Card
Cards without a magnetic stripe eg. ID cards.

A transaction via paper or reader not connected to a central system.

A transaction on a terminal permanently connected to a network that is on-line to the card account.

Printing, encoding and programming a card with data specific to an individual cardholder.

Prepaid Card
A card paid for at point of sale permitting the holder to buy goods and services up to the prepaid value.

Promotional Card
A card offering special benefits to users eg, discount card.

Polyvinyl chloride, the most widely used plastic material for ID cards.

Radio Frequency Card (RFID)
A proximity card in which the coupling between the card and the interface device is by radio.

Signature Panel
The area of an ID card where the cardholder enters a signature.

Copying the magnetic stripe encoding from one card to another.

Stored Value Card (aka cash card, electronic purse, prepaid card)
A financial card that is loaded with a certain amount of money with each purchase amount deducted from the card.

Material upon which a plastic card is printed.

Transit Card
Magnetic or chip card used for transportation services eg. subway card.

Telecom Card
Magnetic or chip card used for telephone services eg. GSM card, prepaid card.

Traditional Card
A magnetic or non magnetic card not using chip card technology.

Plastic Card Printing Options

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What sets your plastic card printing program apart are the options available from We offer a full range of personalization options that will allow you to take your plastic card program to the next level. offers embossing, bar coding, magnetic stripe encoding, thermal printing and foil stamping.

Plastic Card Embossing

One of the most popular options we have available to our customers is Plastic Card Embossing. This feature is the same that you will find on your credit card. It is a very popular feature with VIP and Membership cards. It has also become a new trend with Plastic Business Card Printing and Gift Cards. We can emboss type in several sizes as well as embossing unique information on each cards. Coupled with our fulfillment programs our customers can save money by ordering a large quantity of cards and having us emboss individual member information on each cards as their club or organizations numbers rise.

Plastic Card Foil Stamping

Another popular plastic card option is Foil Stamping. This process uses a die and heat to inset the foil material. Foil is reflective and adds a great accent to a plastic card.
While foil stamping is a great accent for your cards there are some limitations that must be worked around. Please contact our sales staff to get in touch with a designer who will make sure that your artwork is correctly set up, or have our team of award winning designers create a custom plastic card to your exact specifications.

Colored & Clear Stock

If you are looking to make a definate impression give our clear or frosted line a try. The translucent quality of these cards makes them unforgettable. We also offer Silver and Gold Cardstocks that have a metallic quality (Like metallic paint on a car) In addition to these specialty cardstocks we have a full line of colored stock that can help keep costs down by reducing the colors of ink required to create a design.

Thermal Customization

Need different information on every one of your Plastic Cards?? No problem! In the printing industry this is known as as Thermal Printing. Common uses are ID Badges, Member Information, Bardcode Printing, and Thermal Numbering.

FOB Plastic Breakaway Key Tag

A popular new solution in the VIP and Membership Card industry is to have a card attached to a keytag that can be fastened to a members keychain. FOB Keytags can be thermal printed to have matching information. Keytags are also available in a three up version. A great way to save money on a budget. A 500 card order yields 1500 Keytags this way.

Plastic Card Signature Panel

Signature Panels allow you to write with a normal pen on a Printed Plastic Card. A standard option for many of our clients. Plastic Card Signature Panels work great to activate a plastic gift, membership, vip, or discount card and add a nice touch to your card.
UV Printing
UV printing is used to print on plastic, foil, and specialty substrates. UV light is used to dry specially formulated inks that are printed on non-porous materials. In conventional printing, ink dries as it is absorbed into paper. Because plastic is not absorbent, the ink must be dried on the top surface using UV light.

About Plasticcardonline, INC

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Plasticcardonline, INC prints and designs all types of plastic cards and can fulfill all of your business needs. We offer cost effective plastic card design and plastic card production at very low prices.

Our plastic cards are four color litho printed with Heidelberg machines (same process as credit cards production, exactly like the credit cards, NOT digital printing or thermal printing), ISO standard 760 Micron solid PVC, professional looking, texture and feel. We are an online plastic/PVC card print shop. Accept paypal and credit card. World wide free delivery, free layout/design, quick turnaround.

Deal direct with the plastic card manufacturer and save money!
As we deal with you directly from our factory order to delivery, we will offer you the best value for your money without any waste. Prices available for both private and trade customers with a minimum order starting from only 100. Ordering from us directly over internet, we can give you the best price which you can not find elsewhere! For group orders, we can give up to 20% discount!

Why choose us for full colour plastic card printing?

As a leading company in the plastic card printing industry, our factory has passed ISO9001 Certificate & ISO14001 Environmental Certificate and produces over 200 Million cards per year. We prints and designs all types of plastic cards and can fulfill all of your business needs. We print full colour plastic cards, laminated cards, smart cards, photo ID cards, frosted cards, key cards and more.

Quality: We produces the highest quality cards, made from durable PVC plastic. We ensure all your plastic cards look spectacular through many months of hard usage.

Pricing: Check price list, you will see. Our price maybe not the lowest, but is the best for the quality cards. No setup fee, No other hidden cost.

Turnaround time: 8-12days, including shipping.

Service: All enquiry emails will be replied within 12hours. We work on holidays too, even Christmas. We will keep you posted by each stage of your order like: processing, ready to ship, shipping and package tracking service.

Artwork: We have experienced designers solve your artwork problem, no matter what kind of file you have, even a poor scanned picture, we can refine it and make it printable. We also provide free design service.

Payment & Shipping: We accept all types of payment. Make you online order easy and secured. We provide worldwide FREE SHIPPING and we only use the best couriers like FedEx, DHL, and UPS.

Refund: If you are not satisfied with card quality or we make any mistake, we will do free reprint or refund.