Printing QR Codes on ID Badges and VIP, gift, loyalty and discount cards is gaining popularity.
To use printed cards for tracking or validation purposes in attendance, access control, transportation and similar applications, each card needs to have a unique ID number associated to it. Typically that ID needs to be read by an electronic device for recording it or validating it against a database.
Typical readers for these applications include barcode, magstripe and RFID/NFC readers. Although the use of magstripes and 1D barcodes are most common, RFID/NFC and QR codes are increasing in popularity.
RFID/NFC technology is often use when security is a high priority because the embedded RFID/NFC chip is difficult to fake if properly implemented. The tradeoff is cost: cards with these chips are significantly more expensive.
QR codes have been gaining popularity because apps can scan them far easier than 1D barcodes using the built-in cameras of smartphones and tablets. The fastest scanning in most ambient conditions and even off-axis is done using the device’s rear-facing camera. They can also be scanned with front-facing cameras, ideal for unattended scanning (‘kiosk mode’).
While many printers can print QR codes, you need to specify ‘variable’ QR codes where each card has its own unique ID embedded in the QR code. That ID is associated to the card-holder in a database for tracing and validation purposes.
We recently received samples of cards from PlasticPrinters.com (see contact info below). We found their cards to scan quite well, especially their matte finish sample. A matte finish helps when reading QR codes in high ambient lighting conditions because it minimizes glare. We recommend your QR codes be roughly 0.7” to 0.8″ square with a 0.1″ border.
According to Cole Goebel from PlasticPrinters.com, “Here’s representative pricing for 4/4 plastic cards, opaque solid color cards, with variable data (QR) included:
- 100 cards: $250
- 250 cards: $330
- 500 cards: $440
- 1000 cards: $555
Prices include shipping in the domestic US, and graphic design. So basically for the price listed, we’ll design, print, and ship the cards to your door. Usual turnaround time is 5 days, plus shipping time from approval of the artwork.”
[Note: The codeREADr platform is not affiliated with PlasticPrinters.com. We simply offer this information for informative purposes.]
If you are interested, here’s their contact information:
741 Spiral Blvd. • Hastings, MN 55033
P: 651-319-4762 (Office)