There are far too many purposes for an identification badge (commonly referred to as identification card). With the advances in technology, the straightforward photo type of identification badge has evolved to one of high-tech cards that are tailor-fitted to a company or organization. Identification badges are used in almost all industries and these include schools, government organizations, businesses, retail stores, and many more.
There are various types of identification badges. The most common of which is the basic photo identification badge, which is made of PVC material and over-laminated for increased durability. Being the simplest form of identification, the photo identification badge normally contains a 1×1 photo of the cardholder together with the ID number, job title (if used for work), and other relevant data indicating entitlements or authorizations. This particular type is widely used in schools, retail stores, and other government organizations.
The advancements in technology brought about complex cards that feature magnetic stripes, smartcard, and bar codes that add functionalities to the identification badge. Having these features embedded in the card design allows integration with various access systems and computer networks.
Magnetic identification badges and bar codes are often used for controlled access. Companies may choose to save access data on an employee name badge to restrict access to certain facilities.
The smartcard type of identification badge contains a chip where all pertinent data are stored. An identification badge requires a special printer to print on PVC material. This is printer is also commonly known as ID card printer to most name badge supplier. An employee name, together with his unique information, is printed on the identification badge or card using a process called dye sublimation that embeds resin or ink through the card, or reverse-transfer printing wherein a special film containing graphics and information is fused with the ID card.
Depending on the features supported by the ID card printer, an identification badge, depending on a company or organization’s requirement, may be designed with encoded information and security over-laminates.
An identification badge may take any of the following form.
•Employee Name Badges – These are designed for use as employee identification as well as providing access to secured areas in the building. Another common feature of that is added to this kind of identification badge is attendance tracking. Security and access data are commonly stored on a magnetic strip at the back of the card.
• Government ID Badges – These identification badges are used by government institutions to safeguard against duplication and tampering. Common uses are government employee IDs, driver’s licenses, social security IDs, and many others.
•Health Cards – These are designed not only to identify the health workers (doctors, nurses, etc) but to also keep track of information pertaining to a patient. The identification badge often comes in the form of a smart card that contains a patient’s last visit, medications, undergone operations, etc.
•School Name Badges – These identification badges are used by students and teachers and are often designed to include features to track of books borrowed from the library as well as attendance.
•Health and Retail Club Badges – These are designed by various retail companies (i.e. groceries, department stores) and health and fitness clubs to track their member’s rewards and often comes with a smartcard embedded on the identification badge.