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Glossary of Card Terms


Encoding: Recording electronic information onto a magnetic stripe.


I.D. Card: Card which identifies both the bearer and the issuer. All financial transaction cards are I.D. cards.


Lithography or Offset Printing: Process for plastic card printing based on the concept that oil and water are not compatable. The ink represents the oil and the alkaline fountian solution represents the water. During the printing process, ink adheres to the image area of a printing plate while the fountian solution repels the ink from the non-image areas.


Magnetic Strip: The strip of magnetic recording material on an I.D. card.


Oerstead: The unit of magnetic coercive force used to define difficult of erasure of magnetic material.


Personalization: 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 or services up to the prepaid value.


PVC: Polyvinyl chloride, the most widely used plastic material for I.D. cards.


Signature Panel: The area of an I.D. card where the cardholder enters a signature.


Smart Card: A plastic credit sized card that contains one or more semiconductor chips.


UV Printing: Printing with ink visible only under ultraviolet light.