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Frequently asked questions
To help you navigate our frequently asked questions page you can click on the links below to quickly get to the answer you need in a drop-down.
Also you will find a number of frequently used terms in the card industry with a short summary. Further information can be found on wikipedia. Should you have any further questions, please contact the CardImpulz helpdesk.
How can CardImpulz offer quality cards at these prices?
Because labor cost and cost of material in China are much lower than in Europe our overall cost is lower too, thus allowing us to offer the cards at a much lower price than the competition. We guarantee the quality because we are working with the best card supplier’s and monitor the production process in person.
What is your minimum order quantity (MOQ)?
CardImpulz does not work with a MOQ for standard products, whether you order 1 or 1 million cards. Unfortunately we have a MOQ for some additional options like scented ink, hot stamping, and colored magnetic strips. This is because these products must be purchased in batches of 10,000 and the demand is too low to hold these in stock. Keep in mind that the larger the quantity of cards that you order the lower the price per card!
What is your normal production time?
Depending on the quantity and options you have chosen it will take about 14 days after print proof confirmation and receiving the payment. Should you need your cards in a more urgent matter, please contact our sales department (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What measurement is required for the artwork?
The standard card size plus 3mm bleed on all sides. Visit our design section for more information.
What is your standard card size?
CardImpulz produces cards according to the ISO standard of 85.75mm x 54mm (3.370″ × 2.125″), the normal thickness is 0.76mm (30mil), with a 0.04mm variation. CardImpulz also offers thicknesses of 0.46 and 0.3mm (20 and 10 mil)
Plastic card dictionary
A barcode is an optical machine-readable representation of data, which shows certain data on products.
Black core layer
Black core layer is an extra sheet in the core of a paper scratch cards under the location of the personalization, making sure the information can’t shine through the back of the card.
Bleed is the area of artwork that is extended beyond the actual dimensions of the card which should always be included when supplying us with your artwork to avoid white bars around the edges of the cards.
CD Business card
A CD business card is a CR80 sized CD, which can be ued to put relevant data on. It’s a popular novelty in for example the advertising and promotion business.
Coercivity is the intensity of the applied magnetic field required to reduce the magnetization of that material to zero after the magnetization of the sample has been driven to saturation.
Contact smart cards have a contact area, comprising several gold-plated contact pads, that is about 1 cm square. When inserted into a reader, the chip makes contact with electrical connectors that can read information from the chip and write information back.
A second type of smart card is the contactless smart card, in which the chip communicates with the card reader through RFID induction technology. These cards require only close proximity to an antenna to complete transaction. They are often used when transactions must be processed quickly or hands-free, such as on mass transit systems, where smart cards can be used without even removing them from a wallet.
CR80 is the standard ‘creditcard’ size, basically the size of most of the plastic card you hold in your wallet. The cards are 85.60mm (3.4″) x 53.98mm (2.15″), and 0.76mm (30 mil) thick.
DVD Business card
A DVD business card is a CR80 sized DVD, which can be ued to put relevant data on. It’s a popular novelty in for example the advertising and promotion business.
Embossing is the process of creating a three-dimensional image or design on plastic cards. For example the golden or silver text on your credit card.
Encoding is the process of transforming information from one format into another. In this case we program the data to a chip of magnetic strip.
Flip chip bonding is the latest RFID/Proximity chip interconnecting method. Instead of using copper coil (antenna) the chips is connected with aluminum coil, which is pasted to the connection points on the RFID chip. This allows the smartcard to become even more thinner then before. Mass transit companies often use these type of cards with for example Mifare ultralight chips.
A font is traditionally defined as a complete character set of single size and style of a particular typeface. There are many font types. Should we not have the exact font then we will ask you to send it to us, or we will match it with our own font types.
HiCo Magnetic Strip
HiCo magnetic strip is one of the two options. High-coercivity magnetic strips are more difficult to erase, and therefore are appropriate for cards that are frequently used or that need to have a long life. The most frequent used HiCo’ers are 2,750Oe and 4,000Oe. The magnetic strip can be produced in many different colors.
Hot stamping is a dry printing method in which a heated die and foil are used to apply graphics to a surface. This is one method of security printing. CardImpulz has a minimum order of 10,000 cards for this option.
Inkjet printing reproduces a digital image by propelling variable-sized droplets of liquid or molten material (ink) onto a card. After the card has been personalized the ink will be dried immediately, with UV lights.
Lamination is a small layer of plastic on top of your card. This thin see through layer will bond with the card through heating process. The result is a strong card that is protected against water and dirt.
Laser engraving is the personalization practice using lasers to engrave or mark the card. The technique is more complex then the other options for personalization and a little bit more expensive. CardImpulz advises you to do this only for chip cards (personalization of the chip numbers) or metal cards.
LoCo magnetic strip
LoCo magnetic strip is one of two options. Low-coercivity magnetic strips can store less data compared to the HiCo card. The most frequent used LoCo’s is the 300Oe. The magnetic strip can be produced in many colors.
MIFARE is the most widely installed contactless smartcard or proximity card chip technology in the world.
Minimal Order Quantity. We use MOQ for some items due to a limited shelf life or a low demand for a certain product. Contact the sales team for further information.
Oersted is the unit to measure the coercivity of for example magnetic strips.
PET (Polyethyleentereftalaat) is a good alternative for the standard PVC cards. These cards have a long life span (4 to 5 years) and are there for less damaging for the environment.
PETG (Polyethyleentereftalaatglycol) is and even better alternative to replace PVC. These cards have life span of 6 to 7 years and are there fore even more less harmful for the environment as the standard PET cards.
In digital imaging, a pixel is a single point in a raster image. The pixel is the smallest addressable screen element; it is the smallest unit of picture that can be controlled.
PLA (Polylactic acid) cards are the so-called ‘Bio cards’, they are made of biodegradable material like for example starch or corn.
Point of Sale is the location where a transaction occurs. A “checkout” refers to a POS terminal or more generally to the hardware and software used for checkouts, the equivalent of an electronic cash register.
Proximity cards is another term to describe contactless cards, these are cards with an intergrated circuit device. Examples of proximity/contactless cards are the Mifare 1K (S50), Mifare 4K (S70), EM4100 etc.
Raised surface printing
A special print technique that applies an additional layer on the card and gives it is unique character. Many companies that would like to give their loyalty or gift cards something extra use it. The ink will be purchased separately, thus a minimum order of 10,000 cards is required.
Radio Frequency Identification is the technology that is being used in our contactless cards. The chip sends out a continuous signal true a copper wire inside the card. Information on the chip can be accessed when the card is close enough to the reader. This distance varies per chip.
Scented ink is special ink that will let your card smell to your own preference. There are different scents available including: rose chocolate, strawberry and coffee. Contact the sales department for availability of other fragrances. The ink will be purchased separately and as a result has a minimum order of 10,000 cards.
The scratch off layer ia a latex (usually) layer that conceals a part of the card. In the case of mobile phone recharge cards this is usually a number. And in the case of scratch & win cards it’s often a sequence of pictures or numbers that can generate a price.
A signature panel is an area on the plastic card which can be used to write on. Normally you’ll find the signature panel on the back of for example your credit card or loyalty card. Nowadays more options are possible and a transparent can be applied over a part, or the entire surface of the card.
A spectrum is a condition that is not limited to a specific set of values but can vary infinitely within a continuum. Like a spectrum of colors.
Thermal printing is the process where trough heating an image is created on the plastic card. This is where the cards are being personalized with a number and/or text in black (other colors are possible). The printer uses the uploaded data in a excel file and will personalize 1 line per card. Thermal printers use print ribbons to print.
A USB Card is a CR80 sized card with an USB memory stick that can be moved in and out the card. It’s a popular novelty in for example the advertising and promotion business.
UV or Ultra Violet is mainly used as an additional security option, the ink becomes visible when its held under a UV lamp. You will see this a lot on credit cards, driver licenses, bank notes and public transits passes.
When enlarging (zoom-in) on a vector graphic there will be no loss in resolution. Marketing and/or advertising companies might have sent you such a logo.
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