The Benefits of Having an Identification Card

Identification Card


Plastic cards have become a convenient and secure way to identify and authenticate individuals to access a wide range of services. Very commonly used in the world of finance and banking, plastic cards are also used in other industries such as government, education, and health care. This article discusses the features, benefits, pros, cons, case studies, FAQs, mistakes people make, and best practices of plastic card identification.

Features of Plastic Card Identification

Plastic cards used for identification and authentication purposes are most often encoded with a Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) as well as additional data stored in a magnetic stripe or chip. MRZs can store information such as cardholder's full name, date of birth, and the country the card was issued in. The additional data may include a photo of the cardholder, additional cardholder information, or a security feature.

Magnetic Stripe

A magnetic stripe is a thin strip of magnetic material coating an ID card. The stripe itself is composed of several layers; the bottom layer contains a series written data in a format conforming to the international ISO 7812-2 standard. The top layer is made of carbon, hexavalent chromium, or other mostly inert materials that protect the magnetic data from environmental damage. The data encoded onto the magnetic stripe can include the cardholder's name, date of birth, and the country the card was issued in.

Chip Technology

Chip technology has become increasingly commonplace in plastic card identification and authentication purposes. The chips are the size of a dime and embedded into the ID card. They are encoded in a secure format that prevents unauthorized access to the data. Chip cards are much more secure than magnetic stripe cards, as the data stored within is encrypted and can only be read by authorized personnel. Furthermore, chips also offer additional authentication and verification features such as the ability to store biometric data, an additional layer of protection to verify the cardholder's identity.

Benefits of Using Plastic Card Identification

Plastic cards offer a variety of advantages that make them suitable for different types of applications.

Convenience Security

Plastic cards are convenient and secure; they offer benefits such as faster access to services, reducing the need for identification documents, and providing secure storage for sensitive information. Additionally, cards issued with chip technology provide an additional layer of security by encrypting the user data stored within.

Reliability Durability

Plastic card identification is reliable and durable. Because of their strong construction, cards are capable of withstanding wear and tear that may otherwise render an ID invalid. Furthermore, they are less vulnerable to tampering or counterfeiting than other forms of identification.

Cost Savings

By using plastic cards for identification and authentication purposes, organizations can save time and money. By streamlining the authentication process, plastic cards help to reduce errors and speed up processing time. Furthermore, their durable construction lowers replacement costs and makes them an ideal choice for long-term identification and authentication solutions.

Pros and Cons of Plastic Card Identification

Despite their numerous benefits, plastic cards also have some drawbacks that should be taken into consideration.


  • Convenient and secure
  • Reliable and durable
  • Cost-effective


  • Requires appropriate infrastructure
  • Susceptible to counterfeiting
  • No global standards

Case Studies

In the past few years, there have been numerous success stories involving the use of plastic card identification. Here are just a few.

East Coast Hospital

East Coast Hospital utilized a plastic card ID system to streamline their hospital's access control. By encoding employee and visitor information onto the cards, they were able to improve safety and reduce access errors while still keeping track of who had access to what parts of the hospital.

Public Library

The public library implemented a plastic card identification system to provide secure access to patrons. By issuing plastic cards to their customers, the library was able to track usage and limit access to some areas to only their members.


The university utilized plastic card ID systems to authenticate and track students' use of library resources. The system allows students to log in using their plastic card, adding an additional layer of security.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using plastic card identification?

The benefits of using plastic card identification include convenience and security, durability and reliability, and cost savings.

Are plastic cards secure?

Yes, plastic cards are secure. Cards issued with chip technology provide an additional layer of security by encrypting the user data stored within.

Are plastic cards prone to counterfeiting?

Yes, plastic cards are susceptible to counterfeiting. Organizations should consider the use of additional security features such as biometric data or holograms to reduce the risk of counterfeiting.

Mistakes People Make When Using Plastic Card Identification

  • Not using an appropriate infrastructure for the plastic cards.
  • Not using additional security features such as biometrics or holograms.
  • Failing to regularly audit the system for accuracy and compliance.
  • Not properly storing and securing the plastic cards.
  • Using outdated or vulnerable technology.

Best Practices

When implementing a plastic card identification system, it is important to follow best practices to ensure a secure and reliable system.

Maintenance Upkeep

It is important to regularly maintain and upkeep the system to ensure accuracy and compliance. This includes regularly auditing the system, keeping up with software updates, and staying on top of security vulnerabilities.

Secure Storage

Plastic cards should be stored in a secure place where they cannot be tampered with or stolen. The cards should also be regularly updated with the latest security technology to reduce the risk of counterfeiting.

Proper Infrastructure

An appropriate infrastructure should be in place to ensure the seamless operation of the system. This includes ensuring the system is compatible with the appropriate hardware and software, and regularly monitoring its performance.

Final Notes

Plastic card identification is a convenient and secure way to identify and authenticate individuals. Utilizing plastic cards for identification and authentication purposes offers numerous benefits such as convenience, security, reliability, and cost savings. While there are some drawbacks to the use of plastic cards, such as susceptibility to counterfeiting, following best practices can help to reduce risks and ensure a secure and reliable system.