It is essential that data files be sent to us according to our specifications. Please take a moment to review these basic guidelines as they are crucial to the success of your project.


  • All variable data files must be in Excel format (.xls or .xlsx).
  • Include only essential information. All punctuation, spaces and other symbols cannot be used before or after words in the creation of the database.
  • Your files will be shown exactly as you created them. It is therefore imperative that you use uppercase and lowercase letters exactly as you want them to appear on the final print. If you want zeros before the numbers, format the cells accordingly (personalize / custom).
  • The first line gives a title to each column. Each title must be different. Each row contains the personalized information for a single card.
  • Avoid non-traditional fonts as some do not display accents correctly. Close and reopen your file and check that all the information has been saved. Then confirm that everything is as you want it to appear on the print.
  • Because you are responsible for any typos in your database, make sure to check everything before saving for the last time.

Please send us your databases at the same time as the graphics files for the cards.

Firstname Lastname PIN Serial number
Jill Madden 439782163 0001
Erik Jokovick 154956043 0002
Jenny McAnder 106307548 0004
John Smith 863021554 0004
Matt Wilson 992349127 0005

You can safely send your files using our secure FTP data transfer system. We do not recommend sending data via email. If you have any questions, contact the Prepress Department via email and we will be happy to assist you.



During the encoding process, particles are magnetized in the direction of the north or south pole. Each character on the stripe is composed of a set of bits with values of either 0 or 1. The polarity of the magnetic particles is changed to define each of these bits. By changing the magnetization of the particles along the stripe, we can encode binary information to be transmitted to the reader.


Coercivity refers to the force required by a magnetic field to modify data recorded on a magnetic stripe. There are two types of magnetic stripe cards, each with a different level of coercivity:

  • HiCo (High Coercivity) magnetic stripes provide a higher level of protection against damage that can be caused by external magnetic fields.
  • LoCo (Low Coercivity) magnetic stripes are less resistant to external magnetic fields, but have the advantage of being less costly.

High coercivity magnetic stripes are harder to erase and therefore more appropriate for cards that are used frequently or that require greater durability. They are the preferred type for new applications, despite their slightly higher cost.
Low coercivity magnetic stripes require a lesser amount of magnetic energy for recording, making the writing systems for low coercivity cards less costly than machines capable of recording high coercivity magnetic stripes.