How does a magnetic stripe work on a credit card?

magnetic strip on credit card

How does a magnetic strip work on a credit card? If the performance of the magnetic stripe on a credit card is unclear for you, we will discuss it in this post.

The magnetic stripe can be encoded with information because the tiny iron particles made from the stripe can be magnetized in different directions by a device that generates a strong magnetic field.

If you are always travelling, you may encounter various problems with your hotel key cards, for example, sometimes it does not work when you pull the card to open the door of your room. A little confused, you try a few more times, but each time the light turns red, but you are still stuck outside the room.

What is a Hico/Loco magnetic stripe card?

A magnetic stripe card, also called a swipe or magstripe, is a plastic card with a magnetic stripe attached to its surface.

The tape is made of very few iron-based components that can be magnetically modified and can be used to store information.

Magnetic tape is similar to the magnetic tape that you may find on your old movie tape or cassette.

There are many uses for magnetic stripe cards. These cards are used in key hotel cards to access the room and credit/debit cards to handle purchases. They are also used by people in companies and universities for various purposes.

How a Hico / Loco magnetic stripe card works?

The magnetic stripe on a card can be ‘written’ or encoded with information. because the tiny iron-based particles that make up the strip can be magnetized in different directions by a device that produces a strong magnetic field. This device is a ‘solenoid’, which is basically a coil wound into a tightly packed helix.

The wire is wound around a high-permeability, metallic core that produces a strong magnetic field when a current is passed through it. This device encodes the required information onto the stripe, which is then pasted on a plastic card.

How does a magnetic stripe reader work?

When a card with a magnetic strip is moved back and forth over the ‘reader head’, a voltage is induced in the coils of the card reader device.

A card reader consists of a solenoid too – the same component that is used to write information in the magnetic strip.

This voltage can be amplified and recorded electronically, which is finally read by a computer (or a processor installed within the reader) to authenticate a user (in the case of identity cards) or a transaction (in the case of credit/debit cards).

What data is stored on the magnetic stripe?

  • One character that is the start sentinel
  • One alpha only character that is format code “B”
  • One character that is a separator
  • Four or one character that is the expiration date or separator
  • Two to 26 characters that are your name
  • Up to 79 characters that contain discretionary information
  • One character that is a separator.
  • Three characters that are the country code

The second track was developed by the banking industry and contains:

  • One character that is a start sentinel
  • Up to 19 characters that are the primary account number
  • One or four characters that are the expiration date or separators
  • Up to 40 characters that contain discretionary information
  • Once character LRC

If You have any question about how a magnetic strip works on a credit card, please leave your comment on this post of Ariadcard.

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