Magnetic Stripe Reader

Magnetic stripe technology is used all the time. You probably have more than one card in your wallet that has a magnetic stripe on it. All kinds of information can be stored on this innovative invention. Most people do not even give it a second thought but you have vital information on your credit cards or medical insurance cards, not to mention bank cards. There has to be a way to read and retrieve this information. This is where a magnetic stripe reader is needed. Anytime you swipe your card at the grocery store or at the gas station you are using a magnetic stripe reader. The information is read and checked with the information stored on a computer so you can complete your transactions. If you are moving money around during an electronic transaction a magnetic stripe card the reader will be able to identify all of the pertinent information to make sure the transaction is done right.

A magnetic stripe reader is a hardware device that reads the information on a magnetic stripe card. A magnetic stripe is also called a magstripe. These cards are used for driver’s licenses, credit cards and bank cards now. IBM is the company that developed the process to attach the magnetic stripe to cards and it involves using heat to bond the magstripe to a plastic card. The reader has a magnetic head assembly with an information reading sensor. It also has a processor in the housing that can specify for read the magnetic data on the stripe.

A magnetic stripe reader is a device that can read encoded information in the magnetic stripe. There are different kinds of magnetic stripe readers such as the insertion reader or the swipe reader. The insertion type requires that the card is inserted into the hardware device so it can read the information. The swipe magnetic stripe reader requires that the user swipe the card through the reader which is a device with a slot in it where the magnetic stripe card is swiped past a stationary reader head. Tiny magnetic particles are used in the magnetic stripe. To get information encoded onto the stripe an electromagnetic encoder is used. This encoder changes the magnetic field on the stripe which can then be read by the magnetic stripe reader. This technology has been used for credit cards and other such cards since the 1970s.

Even though the technology has brought about the convenience of using magnetic stripe cards, there are some very real dangers that go along with it. Unfortunately, you can go online now and buy a magnetic stripe reader and use it for less than honorable means. Some criminals have caught onto this fact and are using these readers in a creative way to steal financial information for their own financial gain now. This is one way that identity theft is occurring too. As a result new technology is being developed to protect from thefts occurring because of magnetic stripe readers. The newer smart card technology may soon replace the magstripe cards. Until then, the magnetic stripe readers are absolutely essential for all retail businesses that accept magnetic stripe cards for financial transactions, etc. There are various magnetic stripe readers on the market now. Some are even portable and can be taken with the businessman who is out on the road conducting various business transactions. Some magnetic stripe readers are easily connected to laptops via the USB port and make such transactions convenient. The ID Tech MiniMag is one example of a compact portable reader that can read up to 3 tracks of magnetic stripe information. You can find other desk top and POS magnetic stripe readers online as well.

This Magnetic Stripe Reader Review is Written/Updated on May 18th, 2011 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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