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How to Print Proximity Cards

Printing proximity cards can be a little tricky. Read this article to find out how to troubleshoot printing problems and efficiently print your proximity cards.

Proximity cards, also referred to as contactless cards, offer unparalleled convenience in access control, identification, and security, making them very popular with businesses requiring fast, and hands-free access for its workers, clients, and visitors.

The technology behind proximity cards is RFID or radio frequency identification. It is a wireless technology that allows two devices to communicate with each other.

Embedded inside the card is an antenna for transmitting information and a chip that stores identification data.

Both the RFID antenna and the chip are embedded inside the card, which results in uneven card surface. The variations in the card’s surface may cause the printhead of direct-to-card printers to lose contact with the card, which may result in a misprinted image or incomplete printed information.

 HID1386 - ISO Prox II Card

To address this issue, it is recommended that you use ‘retransfer’ or reverse transfer printing. Using this process, a reverse image is first printed on a transparent “transfer film” and is then adhered to the card’s surface through heating. This method allows film to cover the entire card, including the uneven surfaces. The film also acts as a protective layer, protecting the card from the elements and tampering, as well as minimizing fading over time.

Moreover, because the film used is larger than the surface of proximity cards, edge-to-edge image printing is achieved. For added security, holographic stickers can also be added.

But if you absolutely have to use direct-to-card printers for your proximity card printing needs, be sure to make multiple design samples, experimenting with layout, colors, and saturation. The electronics on the card are sometimes visible under the print, due partly to the thermal effects of the printhead making multiple passes on the card during printing.

For expert assistance on finding the best proximity or contactless cards for your printer, give our helpful ID professionals a call at 1-800-667-1772. You can also reach us through contact page on our website.

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