ISO/IEC 7810 – Identification cards — Physical characteristics Training Course

What is ISO/IEC 7810?

ISO 7810 is an international standard that specifies the physical characteristics of identification cards, debit cards, identification badges and more. The standard defines the dimensions and layout of the card, including aspects like:

  1. Physical Characteristics: ISO 7810 specifies the dimensions of the card, including its length, width, and corners. There are different sizes defined, such as ID-1, which is commonly used for credit cards and most identification cards.

  2. Materials: The standard outlines the acceptable materials for the cards, including considerations for durability and flexibility.

  3. Surface Roughness: It provides guidelines for the acceptable level of surface roughness of the cards to ensure proper printing and readability.

  4. Corner Radius: ISO 7810 defines the permissible corner radius for the cards.

  5. Thickness: It specifies the acceptable range for the thickness of the cards.

  6. Location of the Magnetic Stripe: For cards that include a magnetic stripe, the standard defines the precise location where it should be placed on the card.

  7. Integrated Circuit Card Contact Pads: If the card includes contact pads for an integrated circuit, ISO 7810 provides specifications for their location.

  8. Identification of Issuer: It includes guidelines for how the issuer of the card should be identified on the card.

Why should you use ISO/IEC 7810?

Identification card is used to connect a person to information about the person, often in a database. When designing a card, practitioners should consider context-specific needs such as card materials and security features, machine-readability, including data storage and processing, and the visibility of data on the card.   

ISO/IEC 7810 provides you with the physical characteristics of the identification cards such as bending stiffness, flammability, toxicity, resistance to chemicals, dimensional stability, adhesion or blocking, warpage, resistance to heat, surface distortions, and contamination. 

The material used to design cards need to be compatible to meet high-quality standards. ISO/IEC 7810 helps to calculate mechanical strength of cards.  

By adopting ISO/IEC 7810, you can  manufacture and supply high quality cards to your customers and demonstrate the reliability of the cards.  

Benefits of ISO/IEC 7810 Identification cards — Physical

  1. ISO 7810 ensures that identification cards conforming to its specifications are interoperable across different systems and applications. 

  2. The international nature of ISO standards, including ISO 7810, promotes consistency on a global scale. This is especially significant in today’s interconnected world where individuals and organizations may interact across borders. 

  3. Manufacturers and printers of identification cards use ISO 7810 as a reference to produce cards that meet specific size, material, and quality requirements. 

  4. Organizations issuing identification cards, whether for access control, identification purposes, or financial transactions, benefit from ISO 7810 by having a well-defined guideline for card design. 

  5. The standard contributes to the security of identification cards by specifying features like integrated circuit card contact pads and magnetic stripe locations. This can aid in preventing unauthorized access and fraud, enhancing the overall security of systems that rely on these cards.

  6. ISO 7810 provides a foundation for other standards within the ISO 781x series (e.g., ISO 7811 for magnetic stripe data content, ISO 7816 for integrated circuit cards). This ensures that various aspects of card technology are harmonized, leading to a more cohesive and integrated approach to identification card systems.

  7. Many card-reading devices, such as ATMs, point-of-sale terminals, and access control systems, are designed to be compatible with cards adhering to ISO 7810. 

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