The differences between a hi-co and lo-co magnetic strip and the benefits of each

August 2020

The amount of data that can be encoded on to a card with a magnetic stripe card is the same for both HiCo and LoCo cards.

The primary difference has to do with how difficult it is to encode and erase the information on each type of card.

HiCo Cards

HiCo cards are recommended for a majority of applications.

HiCo cards are encoded with a stronger magnetic field.

The stronger magnetic field makes HiCo cards more durable because the data encoded on the stripes is less likely to unintentionally be erased by external factors (such as placing the card next to a name badge with a magnet etc.)

HiCo cards are common in applications where they require a longer card life and are swiped often.

Credit cards, bank cards, library cards, access control cards, time and attendance cards and employee ID cards frequently use HiCo technology.

LoCo Cards

The less common “LoCo” cards are good for short-term applications.

LoCo cards are encoded at a low-intensity magnetic field.

LoCo cards are typically used for short-term applications including hotel room keys and season passes for theme parks, amusement parks, and water parks.

When selecting a magnetic stripe card for your business, ask yourself how long you want your cards to last.

Many of us have experienced a situation where a hotel room key stopped working.

Magnetic stripe cards can be reprogrammed, but it can be inconvenient.

In most applications, HiCo cards are recommended. The small difference in price for the HiCo card is worth the value and reliability.

For more information on HiCo and LoCo cards, feel free to speak to one of our awesome sales executives on 011 894 3914