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Barcodes vs. QR Codes

If you're trying to decide whether to use a traditional barcode or a QR code for your plastic cards, read this article to help you decide which option is right for you.

If you need to store a small amount of cardholder data onto a plastic ID card, barcodes are an excellent cost-effective option. Barcodes are machine-readable labels that look like a series of vertical lines.

They are easy to implement and are very cheap. In fact, barcodes are still the preferred method of automating supermarket checkouts around the world. In schools and offices in the United States, barcodes are the most popular means of tracking time and attendance.

No special encoder is needed to print a barcode and any plastic card printer with resin monochrome printing capability can print barcodes without any expensive printer equipment upgrades.

Quick Response (QR) codes, on the other hand, are those square dots neatly arranged in a square grid on a white background that are often found on posters and billboards.

QR codes are a type of barcode referred to as 2D. They are very popular because they are very flexible and can store multiple types of information such as phone numbers, information about a business or a product, e-mail address, website address, link to an online video, and many others.

Most modern smartphones now come with built-in barcode and QR code scanning apps. Scan the QR code below using your smartphone to see the technology in action and our special offer as well.


For expert assistance in implementing barcodes and/or QR codes with your ID card system, call our friendly ID professionals at 1-800-667-1772 or send us an email today.

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