Printed Mifare cards now available


Genuine mifare cards printed
Choose from a range of options and security features on your printed Mifare cards

The Card Network now provides double-sided print on Mifare Classic 1K and 4k chip cards.

This new printing service offers businesses, schools and organisations the flexibility to brand their printed Mifare cards, and choose from a range of features including numbering, variable text, signature panels, barcodes, as well as encoded & unencoded magnetic stripes.

Why use printed Mifare cards?

Mifare cards use NXP-Semiconductors trademarked chips, which are widely used in contactless smart cards and proximity cards. Thanks to their reliability and low cost, the cards are used by all kinds of organisations for different applications.

Printed Mifare cards are commonly used for access control, ticketing, transportation and as a smart ‘wallet’

Schools and colleges commonly choose printed Mifare cards because they’re capable of many functions. As well as being used for access control (for entry to the library for example) they can also be used for cashless vending (where a student ‘swipes’ for their lunch), to check out library books, or to access the computer system.

Printed Mifare cards are also well suited to environments where a low level of security is required. Sports clubs often use them as a means of allowing members to enter the locker rooms, and because they can also allow them to access their account at the bar.

The cards also act as perfect tickets – use them as season membership cards for example, and swipe them to get through the turnstile at a football match. They’re also widely used by transport providers as electronic tickets.

Genuine chips, high quality print

All the cards we supply contain genuine NXP Mifare chips: we don’t sell compatibles from the Far East. Our modern print set up doesn’t use surface print, so both the card and chip remain safe under the laminate overlay.

The chips in the card are supplied unencoded. If you have any special requirements for your printed Mifare cards, or you’re not sure which type to order, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss your project. All our prices include design and artwork.

250 full colour, double-sided 1K printed Mifare cards start from £399.00.


Bonfire night safety: ID badges

Fireworks display
ID badges play an important part at an organised Bonfire event

Bonfire night is just around the corner. If you’re planning an organised fireworks event, safety and security will be at the top of the agenda. When you’re going through your health & safety checklist, consider the benefits of ID badges.

Clearly badging event organisers promotes safety and security

– It’s a simple thing, but giving organisers ID badges helps to increase security and promote safety. For a start, event-goers then know who’s in charge, and who to go to if they need help – which prevents people milling about unsure of where to go. From a security standpoint, it means only those badged should access specific areas.

– Giving ID badges to the people actually in charge of the fireworks clearly signifies that only those people can access the fireworks area – no one else should be allowed in. As well as wearing fluorescent jackets, Stewards should be badged too.

– If you have first aiders standing by in case of an accident, ID badges are particularly important. They make them easily identifiable in times of distress – as well as giving confidence and reassurance.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to buy a large quantity

Many small organisations or charities don’t consider ID badges because they think they won’t be able to afford them, or that they won’t come in small quantities. The Card Network sells 10 plastic card ID badges with clips and lanyards from just £90.09. Each card is personalised to your details, so you could have 2 for first aiders, 3 for stewards etc. Simply send us the information and photographs and we’ll do the rest.

Of course ID badges can only do so much. The building blocks of a successful bonfire night lie in the planning and organisation: having the adequate insurance in place, crowd control, parking, adequate lighting, supervised areas etc. For more information on planning a display and safety recommendations see the Safer Fireworks website.

Bonfire night should be a fun and exciting time for everyone, but it’s especially important to keep children safe. For advice on child safety, download and print out this helpful leaflet from the Children’s Safety Education Foundation.

Do hotel key cards contain my personal data?

Custom printed hotel key card
Hotel key cards aren’t clever enough to retain financial information

Do a bit of research on this and you’ll find wildly conflicting answers.

There’s a school of people out there who believe that hotel key cards must contain personal information including credit card numbers and details. How else could the hotel ‘charge’ items to the right room during your stay?

It’s turned into a bit of a myth.

We have a friend who had a friend who knew someone that had their bank details stolen from a discarded hotel key card.’

But it’s exactly that: a myth.

– For a start, the information contained on a hotel key card is encrypted. Even if you were able to break the code (which you’d have to be a tech geek to achieve), the only information you’d find would be the date you checked in and out. Not exactly useful data for an identity thief.

– Also, the magnetic stripe on hotel key cards just isn’t that clever. It simply can’t hold detailed information like credit card details. It doesn’t hold information for all that long either – if you’ve stayed in a hotel for more than a few nights, you’ll probably have experienced the ‘card doesn’t work any more’ scenario.

– There is no need for them to hold financial information. As long as the card identifies you and your room, the hotel can add the charges to your bill.

So don’t feel you have to destroy your hotel key cards the next time you’re checking out.

And the next time you’re told about someone having their bank details stolen from a key card, tell them it’s an urban myth.

Child ID cards: a new fixture at family festivals?

Family-friendly festivals are more popular than ever. From one-day music festivals like the Underage Festival in London to quirky weekend creativity spectaculars like the Just So Festival in Cheshire, our children are getting bitten by the festival bug early.

But as the festivals get bigger and more popular, the chances of parents becoming separated from their children increase.

Camping festival
Child ID cards help with lost children

Child ID cards are a great safety precaution for children and parents

If you’re organising a family friendly festival this year, what plans do you have in place to handle lost children? How will you reunite them with their parents quickly?

Providing children with their own festival ID card is a great way of capturing all necessary personal information into one place. Including a photograph makes the child feel important and grown up (so they’re more likely to wear it without complaint).

Include parents’ names and telephone numbers, plus any allergy, special needs or healthcare information on ID cards. All of this ensures that the child gets the best care and swift action if they are in an accident or become separated from their parents.

If you’re offering camping over the festival, the ID cards become even more useful. It’s easy to become separated in a busy campsite, particularly when there are lots of other children to play with.

Make sure they’re visible

The cards can be attached easily like a name badge, or worn around the neck on a lanyard for older children. In our experience, a lanyard makes children feel like they’re at a ‘real’ festival – another bonus.

But are they cost effective?

You can buy a reliable and powerful plastic card printer from just £585.38, which includes everything you need. Although it might seem like a large initial outlay, you’ll be able to use it again next year – or for other requirements.

Simply take a photograph on the day and print the ID cards onsite. Or to save time in the welcoming process, ask families to send the information to you in advance.

Just be aware of data protection laws when it comes to children – do not store any of the personal information, and ensure relevant staff have gone through CRB checks.

You could even make a small charge to parents for the service.

The ID cards also gives the children a great memento of the festival to take home with them. And for parents, an ID card that can be used again.

Looking for a family friendly festival near you this summer? The Independent lists the top six child-friendly festivals here.




The future of school ID cards?

A new integrated smart ID card solution has been developed by Multicard in Australia specifically for the education market.

Rather than allowing schools, colleges and other Education providers to just verify the identity of a student as most school ID cards do, it also tracks and reports attendance; acts as a library card; takes payment as a cashless vending card; controls access to school/campus services and even validates students’ exam papers.

The card uses contactless smart card technologies, making it easy for pupils and students to use, and for administrators to connect with their existing databases and produce new IDs.

Can we expect this to roll out across our schools and Universities?

School ID card
Turn your school ID card into a smartcard

You might be thinking Big Brother, especially in terms of being able to track a student’s whereabouts, but do the pros outweigh the cons?

Multicard clearly thinks so. They gathered the views of several Universities during development, to understand what they want from the system. They are encouraging institutions to upgrade from their regular school ID cards to this more personalised, powerful solution that enhances security and could make falsified exam papers a thing of the past.

The solution can be located anywhere on school or college premises through a mobile application, which means an ID check can be set up outside an exam room or lecture theatre for example.

Would it benefit your school?

We’re interested to know if you think this solution would benefit your school or college. Do you have school ID cards at the moment? Do you see the need? Is verifying the identity of students at exam time a key attraction?

If you’re interested in creating school ID cards which can also act as an access control card or cashless vending card, please give us a call.

For more information see

Keep your VIP area for VIPs only

Everybody wants access to the VIP area at an event or a festival, which means they’ll try various ways to gain entry. Especially if there’s free food and drink up for grabs. Here are a few tips to help keep your VIP areas just for VIPs …

Members only area
Printed plastic cards aid security & ease of entry

Give VIPs their own event pass

Have VIP printed plastic cards ready to give to your favoured guests when they ‘check-in’ to the event, or post them out prior to it. If you have them printed in a different colour to the rest of your event passes, they’ll be easy to spot.

This isn’t foolproof though, especially if they become lost or stolen. And if your event goes on for longer than a day, clever event go-ers may try to replicate them.

Turn your printed plastic cards into photo ID cards for added security

If it’s a really exclusive event, consider giving printed plastic cards that double up as  photo ID cards. There are two ways you can do this:

1. Ask your guests to send a photograph before the event and have the plastic cards printed in advance through a plastic card supplier like The Card Network – cards can be fully personalised and branded

2. Invest in a plastic card printer, so you can take photographs and print the cards out on the day.

There are benefits and cons to both approaches: the first requires you to gather the information well in advance (and you will always have people who don’t meet the deadline), whereas the second could slow down the process of entry. Doing both might be wise if it’s a large event, it means you can badge any guests who didn’t meet the deadline on the day.

Specific lanyards also help

Giving VIPs different coloured lanyards to hold their printed plastic cards/event passes is a simple way to aid identification and is really cost-effective, especially if you have various ‘levels’ of VIPs. ‘VIP’ branded lanyards are also available, but these are easily bought elsewhere, and you won’t know which are genuine or which aren’t.

Customised lanyards

Printing your own lanyards could be the answer. You can customise them to your own colour, message and graphics. These won’t be easily replicated. Combine them with a photo ID card and even the most seasoned blaggers will struggle to gain entry.

No Player photo ID card? No play

Cricket ball
Player photo ID cards are being increasingly used for matches and tournaments

Has your sports league adopted player photo ID cards?

More and more sports clubs are adopting a photo ID card policy, where players have to prove their identity before they can play in a match or game. Cricket leagues and tennis leagues are seeing the benefits, but the scheme is proving to be particularly popular in youth football and rugby leagues, as a means of quickly proving age and eligibility.

Players have to fill out a registration form with their own club before the season starts, then the club prints the photo ID cards that must be produced for inspection if asked. In most cases it’s the Referees or Captains from opposing teams who check names and photos before matches. Many leagues adopt a ‘no player ID card, no play’ policy.

Would it work for your club or league?

Photo ID cards make it difficult for people to fake their identity, or for teams to suddenly substitute a star player at the last minute. For youth teams, they’re also great for security, and provide peace of mind to parents and organisers. They really come into their own during cup tournaments and regional competitions.

Printing cards costs less than you think

Printing photo ID cards is less expensive than you might think. There are two ways of doing this: 1. Invest in your own card printer to run out photo ID cards whenever you need to, or 2. Send all the details to a plastic card company and have them print them for you.

There are advantages to both routes. Although a plastic card printer is a significant cost up-front (our printer packages start from £637.00 for the budget user), you can run cards out whenever you need to. You can also double up its use to print membership or club cards, or even discount cards if you have an on-site shop or leisure facilities.

If you do choose to have them printed by a plastic card printer, make sure you choose one where you can ‘bank’ any unused cards for later use. With our card bank facility, you can ‘draw down’ on the balance whenever you need new cards printed, for no extra cost other than the postage. This way, you won’t incur a new cost every time a new member joins the squad. 100 cards with our card bank option start from £222.81.

Browse our photo ID cards




NHS to adopt photo ID cards? Who else can benefit?

If proposed reform plans from the Government come to fruition, you will soon have to present photo ID cards when seeking medical treatment, to prove that you are entitled to receive services from the NHS. This move is regarded in the main as a measure to stop so called ‘health tourism’; where non-nationals come to the UK in search of free healthcare.

Patients would need to present a special photo ID card to prove their eligibility, though emergency and antenatal care would not be subject to the same checks.

Photo ID cards are becoming much more prevalent now – they’re being used by companies, government bodies, events organisers and even sports clubs.

Could photo ID cards benefit your business? 

Photo ID card
Small business can benefit from ID cards for little expense

Photo ID cards bring a host of benefits. They can play a significant factor in ensuring the security of your building and the protection of your employees. They also bring a sense of community to your workforce, a benefit that can’t be underestimated. They’re also invaluable for events, when it’s important that only the right people are given entry, for example to a VIP area or to a conference where sensitive information is being released.

Small companies can benefit too and without big expense

Small organisations are often put off from the idea of creating photo ID cards because they fear the cost and can’t find a supplier that caters for the small numbers they need. We recognise this, which is why The Card Network provides ID cards in packs as small as 10. Most importantly, particularly to help smaller businesses, we offer a ‘card bank’ facility with all our photo ID cards. So even if you just need four cards, we’ll ‘bank’ the other six from the pack for when you need them. If a new member of staff joins, or you need to use them for another event, just send us the details and we’ll print your photo ID cards. There’s no charge for this service except for the postage to send the new cards to you.

So even if you need just a handful of photo ID cards we’ve got an economical solution. Particularly as our cards also come with card holders and clips. A pack of 10 photo ID cards and accessories starts from just £93.09.

Access control cards – be protected over the Xmas shut down

The Christmas shut down can be open season for thieves and opportunists if your building isn’t adequately protected. A lot of companies close their doors over Christmas and New Year to give all staff time off to celebrate the festive season. However this can mean reduced security if a good access control cards system and sensible procedures aren’t in place.

Closed for Christmas sign
Make sure your building isn’t open to thieves this Christmas

In the rush to escape from work on Christmas Eve full of feelings of excitement and goodwill, security can be a bit lax. Make sure your business doesn’t fall prey to those looking for a bonus Christmas present by following a few simple steps.

Tips to keep your building secure over the festive period

1. Make sure valuables are locked out of sight wherever possible – don’t advertise to thieves what’s available. Ideally lock stock and valuables away in a secure room

2. Ensure that you fully ‘lock’ the building for the duration of the holiday and change access rights if necessary, just providing a handful of key users with access

3. If staff members lose their access control cards in the run-up to the Christmas shut down, make sure they are cancelled from the system immediately so they don’t pose a security risk

4. Make sure staff know that the building will be closed and locked over the festive period and that entry will not be possible, even if they have a desperate desire to escape from the family for a day

5. Make a couple of people ‘key holders’ capable of entering the building in an emergency

6. Organise for a key holder to check the premises every couple of days

7. If you have an alarm, make sure it’s linked to a central monitoring station.

Don’t have an access control cards system?

This could be an ideal time to invest in a system as they provide significantly more security than a traditional lock and key. See our blog ‘Which access control cards system do I need’? for more information.

We stock access control cards, key fobs and tokens from all the leading manufacturers including Paxton, Bewator, TDSi, HID, PAC, Cotag, Impro, Indala and Kantech. We also provide smart cards and GenTech, Mifare & Desfire products that work across multiple access control platforms.

ID cards expire at the end of 2012?

December traditionally means we all get a bit distracted by fun and festivity, and productivity starts to wind down as we start to look forward to the festive break. Most business decisions can now wait until the New Year, right? Probably – but what if your ID cards expire at the end of 2012 or early in January 2013?

If so, now’s the time to update them, ready for the new year ahead. You don’t want to get back to work in 2013 to find that your ID cards are out-of-date. This is especially important if your staff need them to reassure customers that they’re bona fide, for example if they visit them in their homes or if you’re in healthcare.

New year, new design?

If you think it’s time that the design of your ID cards had a refresh, give us a call. Design and artwork are included in all of our ID card pack prices, so why not let us redesign your card for 2013?