Magnetic stripe

  Description of magnetic stripe

Magnetic stripe has a limited memory. The stripe can be made for different magnitude of magnetic fields.
Therefore, there is a different parameter: low-(300 gauss) and high coercivity (2750 gauss) magnetic stripes.
Magnetic stripe involves machine reading. For standard readers, the magnetic stripe is 12,7 mm (0.5 inches) and is located at a distance of 4 mm from the edge of the card.


Example of a standard card with a magnetic strip

card with magnetic stripe

Magnetic stripe encoding


Magnetic stripe contains three tracks, which can be applied to a particular information. On each track, you can encode the characteristic and the number of characters specified in the table below:


 Track   The number of characters
  Encoded symbols
  The first track   Maximum 76   Letters from A to Z The numbers from 0 to 9 "^"
  The second track   Maximum 36   Numbers from 0 to 9 "="
  Third track   Maximum 104

  Numbers from 0 to 9 "="


Information will be surrounded by the special symbols, depends on the track:

  • the first "%" at the beginning of the string, "?" at the end;
  • the second, "" in the beginning of the line, "?" at the end;
  • по the third "_" in the beginning of the line, "?" at the end.

Operating conditions of magnetic cards

  • Working temperature : from -20 ° C to +50 ° C;
  • unacceptable mechanical damage (cracks, scratches, etc.);
  • not allowed contact with organic solvents and detergents;
  • invalid card files location near strong magnetic fields (speakers, transformers, magnetic locks on the bags and etc.);
  • avoid carrying cards with keys, coins and other hard objects, this can spoil the card.