Best Prices in the Industry

Best Prices in the Industry

0 Cart Checkout Now
Account Login

What's the Difference Between HiCo and LoCo Magnetic Stripe Cards?

HiCo and LoCo magnetic stripe cards can store the same amount of information, so what's the difference? Read this article to find out.

Multifunctional magnetic stripe cards, typically used for access control, employee IDs, transit passes, as well as debit and credit cards, come in two kinds: HiCo and LoCo. Both cards can carry the same amount of data, with the key difference being usage applications.

HiCo magnetic stripe cards, manufactured with stronger magnetic stripes, are more durable and ideal for credit cards, library cards, employee ID cards and access cards, where they are swiped regularly. The stripes on HiCo cards require a higher magnetic energy to encode, making them less susceptible to magnetic interference from extraneous sources.

The more affordable LoCo magnetic stripe cards, which require a lower amount of magnetic energy to encode, are better suited for limited, temporary use cases such as theme park passes, hotel room cards, and transit cards.

It is also possible to identify the type of card used by simply looking at the magnetic stripe on the card. High-performance HiCo cards have magnetic stripes that are almost always black in color. LoCo cards, on the other hand, have brownish magnetic stripes. carries both HiCo and LoCo magnetic stripe cards from various brands.

High Coercivity (HiCo)

Low Coercivity (LoCo)

Harder to erase Easier to erase
Requires higher magnetic energy to encode data Can be encoded using low energy encoders
Can be read by any magstripe card reader Can be read by any magstripe card reader
HiCo magstripe encoders typically cost more LoCo magstripe encoders are generally cheaper
HiCo encoders can write on both HiCo and LoCo cards LoCo encoders can write only on LoCo cards
Less susceptible to magnetic interference Vulnerable to magnetic interference
Ideal for bank cards, drivers licenses, access control cards, library & membership cards Ideal for hotel key cards, gift cards, phone cards, transit passes

For more information about HiCo and LoCo magnetic stripes, visit our online store or give us a call at 1-800-667-1772.

For Further Reading:

attached file(s)