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An Introduction to Plastic Cards

Plastic cards are widespread and are used for a variety of applications by both businesses and individuals. In the modern world, plastic cards can be used for anything from payment and identification to access control or security. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at plastic cards and the many ways in which they can be used.

What are Plastic Cards?

A plastic card is an rectangular-shaped lightweight card, usually made of durable plastic, that contains information stored in either an analog or digital format. These cards are usually issued by companies, organizations and agencies -- such as debit cards and ID cards -- and can be used for various purposes.

Types of Plastic Cards

Custom ID Badges

Custom ID badges are a type of plastic card typically used to identify individuals as part of an organization or organization's employees. These cards provide proof of identity and typically include a photograph of the individual, name, job title/description, any relevant qualifications, and even a fingerprint or other biometric authentication.

Payment Cards

Payment cards are plastic cards that can be used to make payments for goods and services. These cards are usually provided by banks or other financial institutions and carry an associated account number and/or card number that allows payments to be made quickly and securely. The two main types of payment cards are credit and debit cards.

Loyalty Cards

Loyalty cards are plastic cards that are issued by businesses to reward customers for their purchases. These loyalty cards typically offer customers points that can be used to redeem rewards, discounts and other promotional offers.

Features and Benefits of Plastic Cards


One of the main advantages of plastic cards is their convenience. As many of them are essentially the size of a regular credit card, they're easily fit into purses, wallets, and pockets. This makes them ideal for on-the-go applications.


Plastic cards are also highly secure, as they are resistant to damage, destruction, and counterfeiting. Many plastic cards also contain a digitally stored code that can't be copied, making them even more secure.


Plastic cards are incredibly versatile and can be used for a variety of applications, from payments and access control to security and identification. As such, they can be used in almost any industry or setting.

Pros and Cons of Plastic Cards


  • Convenient and easy to use
  • Highly secure
  • Can be used for a variety of applications
  • Durable and long-lasting


  • Can be easily lost or stolen
  • Electronic components can be damaged
  • Can be expensive to replace
  • Some cards require specialized hardware or software to be read

Case Studies

Access Control System

A large company has implemented an access control system that works by using plastic cards that feature embedded digital authentication keys. When a card is swiped, the authentication key is transmitted to a secure server that verifies it and grants the individual access. This system is highly secure and efficient, allowing the company to easily manage its access control system.

Retail Loyalty Program

A popular retail store has implemented a loyalty program that uses plastic cards to reward customers for their purchases. Customers are able to use the cards to earn points which they can then use to redeem various rewards, discounts and promotions. The loyalty program has seen an increase in sales as it appeals to customers and provides an incentive for them to return to the store.


What are plastic cards?

Plastic cards are lightweight cards, usually made of durable plastic, that contain an analog or digital format of stored information.

What types of plastic cards are available?

The various types of plastic cards available include custom ID badges, payment cards, and loyalty cards.

Are plastic cards secure?

Yes, plastic cards are highly secure and are resistant to damage, destruction, and counterfeiting. Many plastic cards also contain a code that can't be copied.

What are the benefits of using plastic cards?

The advantages of using plastic cards include convenience, security, and versatility. They are also long-lasting and can be used for a variety of applications.

Mistakes People Make with Plastic Cards

  • Not properly securing their card or leaving it in an unsecure location.
  • Not protecting the card from damage or exposure to heat or cold.
  • Relying only on physical security measures and not implementing any digital security measures.
  • Not replacing compromised or damaged cards in a timely manner.
  • Not taking steps to minimize fraudulent activity.

Best Practices for Plastic Cards

  • Always keep your card secure and protected from damage or exposure to extreme temperatures.
  • Ensure that the card is read properly with the necessary hardware and software.
  • Enroll in any fraud protection services that are available to prevent fraudulent activity.
  • Promptly replace compromised or damaged cards.
  • Minimize the amount of personal information stored on the card.

Final Notes

Plastic cards are used for a variety of purposes and can be extremely beneficial for both businesses and individuals. These cards are secure, versatile, and long-lasting, making them a great choice for a variety of applications. However, it's important to be aware of the potential risks and pitfalls associated with plastic cards and to take the necessary precautions to protect your cards from misuse or fraud.