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.
Access control technology is constantly advancing. The latest invention in the industry comes from HID Global, which has just announced its innovative ‘gesture based’ methods, which can be used on RFID-based devices such as smart cards and smartphones.
It means that we could soon be opening doors with a wave.
According to HID Global, the technology will increase privacy and convenience, as well as security. For example, it can allow the user to secretly signal that he is using his card to gain access, but is under duress.
How will it work in practice? A user will define a series of hand sequences or gestures that will control the operation of an RFID- based reader, like a door lock. When presenting their smart cards to reader, the user will repeat these gestures – for example rotating the card clockwise by 180 degrees and then back again – to gain entry. These ‘passwords’ include 3-D motions such as moving to the left, right, back and forward.
This is a new authentication factor in access control, and steps up security: cloned or lost smart cards would be useless without the appropriate hand gesture.
The technology can also be incorporated into a smartphone, where the user determines gesture-based ‘passwords’ to unlock apps or complete a phone-based transaction.
HID Global is currently inviting partners to contact them for information on licensing the patent.
Thinking about making photo ID cards standard issue for your organisation? Badging staff with photo ID cards can play a significant factor in ensuring the security of your building, and the protection of your employees. A photo ID programme is almost always beneficial to companies with large numbers of staff, particularly if they work across multiple locations. But they also have their place in smaller enterprises too.
On a simple level, photo ID cards identify the wearer, and whether they have the right to access the building. They also make it much harder for the cards to be ‘adopted’ by anyone other than the rightful owner, which automatically tightens security. They also bring a sense of community to your workforce, a benefit that can’t be underestimated.
If you’re currently considering the merits of photo ID cards, here are a few things to consider.
How will you manage the programme?
Who will be responsible for creating the cards, managing the records and dealing with the day-to-day administration? Usually this responsibility lies with HR, but if you don’t have your own HR department, give at least two people responsibility. That way, if one person is on holiday when a card is ‘forgotten’ or ‘stolen’, things won’t grind to a halt.
If you’re bringing this in for security purposes, stick to it.
Don’t make it one rule for one, one rule for another. That means senior management too, otherwise it undermines the whole programme. If the primary purpose for bringing in photo ID cards is to improve security, everyone needs to wear a badge.
Make sure you police it.
Giving all staff a Photo ID card for security purposes is only effective if it’s going to be enforced. If you have someone permanently in Reception, give them the responsibility for checking everyone is wearing a photo ID card when they enter the building. Most importantly, they should stop anyone who is not.
In some industries where security is paramount, for example in healthcare or schools, staff should be given permission to challenge anyone not wearing a badge. This secondary level of checking should reveal anyone who made it past reception unnoticed.
But I forgot my card today…
If someone forgot their pass, make sure they’re given a temporary one for the day, rather than adopt a “It’s ok Susan, I know it’s you” attitude. The receptionist might know them, but that doesn’t mean the whole company does.
Some other things you should ask yourself before you press the ‘buy’ button:
– Do you want the cards to do anything else?
Do you want your photo ID cards to double up as access control cards or cashless vending cards? We regularly supply ‘smart’ photo ID cards – we’ll be happy to advise you if you have any questions.
– Who should you choose to print your cards?
Once you’ve gathered the data together (photographs and details), look for a plastic card supplier you can trust with your information. Check their credibility. It isn’t particularly wise to choose a supplier based in China you’ve never heard of – even if they are cheap – integrity of data won’t be guaranteed. Ask questions – how will the supplier store your information? Are their staff CRB checked? All of these are sensible questions to ask to prevent identities being stolen.
– Do you want someone else to issue the cards for you?
Don’t want to deal with the hassle of administration? Some plastic card manufacturers operate a card issuance service, where the cards are sent with a personalised letter directly to employees. We have done this for a number of large organisations, please contact one of our friendly staff for more details.
– How will you deal with new staff and changes during the year?
You don’t want to be raising new Purchase Orders and buying large packets of ID cards just because you have one new joiner. Think about investing in a plastic card printer that will allow you to create a handful of cards yourself, when you need to. Or look for a plastic card supplier that allows you to buy more than you need and ‘bank’ them with them. Anyone buying photo ID cards from us can take advantage of our ‘card bank’. Any cards that aren’t used can be drawn on as many times as you like throughout the year, at no extra cost.
Why choose The Card Network?
We have been in the Card Identity business for nearly 20 years. All our Card Bureau staff are CRB checked and we have invested in the latest technology systems to ensure the integrity of your data. Charities, healthcare institutions, schools and businesses trust us to print their photo ID cards. Our packs of 20 cards cost just £70, complete with card holders, lanyards and clips.
Send us your details and we’ll do the rest. We’ll always send you a PDF proof to approve before we print your cards.
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.
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.
There are a plethora of access control cards and systems out there on the market, ranging from basic door entry systems for small businesses through to highly sophisticated remote access security systems for larger enterprises across multiple sites. The choice can be overwhelming, especially when you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for.
Look at your own requirements first
Start by assessing what you want an access control system to do. Is it purely to act as a secure door entry system so that you can get rid of your old-fashioned lock and keys? In which case a simple PIN entry system might suffice. Or do you want to provide staff with their own access control card or key fob to increase security so that no-one without a valid card can enter? These standalone systems are easy to buy off-the-shelf and tend to suit businesses with small numbers of users and leisure clubs.
Need something a little more sophisticated?
The next step up from a standalone system is PC based or ‘networked’ access control. This is aimed at organisations who want more control over the various doors onsite and over the people who can open them – often across different sites. These tend to use access control cards such as proximity cards or magstripe tokens, depending on the kind of reader that’s fitted. This system allows you to easily cancel lost or stolen cards so that they don’t pose a security risk.
You can then set up access privileges through your PC – allowing members of staff access to the areas you specify. These systems can also control other buildings via the computer network, and control services like burglar alarms and exit doors.
These are particularly used by academic institutions, within government buildings and by larger organisations with more than one site.
There are many industry-leading manufacturers of access control cards and systems, including Paxton, Bewator, HID, TDSI, Kantech, PAC, Cotag … the list goes on.Many of these provide starter kits that contain everything you need to get a basic access control system up and running. They include controller, readers and cards, and you can choose to add other items of options to enhance the system.
Even though you cannot buy directly from the manufacturers, the best way to ensure you get the right system for your needs is to contact 2 or 3 of these manufacturers, explain your needs and let them suggest the right solution. Bear in mind the cost of cards or tokens in the future. We sell access control cards to fit most systems, at very competitive prices. To get an idea of how much these cost, visit our access control card section.
How confident are you that your building, staff and equipment are adequately protected? And what about your visitors – are you following health and safety regulations?
When talk turns to protecting your business, the focus naturally falls on insurance first. Having the right policies in place covering contents, buildings, employees and professional indemnity is crucial should the worst happen.
But when is the last time you properly looked at your business from a security perspective? Do you have photographic ID cards and swipe cards as protection for example?
Do your staff have photographic ID cards? Photographic ID cards will ensure that the right people only access the right areas, particularly if you choose to incorporate further security features such as a magnetic stripe or signature strip. Prices start from just £93.09 for a pack of 10 cards including card holders and clips.
Keep track of visitors and contractors Keeping track of every visitor to your building is also paramount from a health and safety perspective. We stock packs of Visitor Passes and Contractor Passes which contain everything you need to set up and record the visitor’s information whilst creating a current fire register and future reference sheet.
We can even print custom car park passes to ensure the right people are parking where they should.
For your security and peace of mind all Card Network staff are CRB vetted.