USES FOR ID CARDS #4: PHOTO ID

From driver’s licences to student membership cards to national ID schemes, cards are the most widely used method for verifying age, identity and the associated access to rights and benefits in society. Verification can take the form of a simple photograph or signature, or for more secure applications, can be stored in an electronic chip on the card in the form of a biometric such as a fingerprint or a password, such as a PIN. Cards can be secured to prevent forgeries by using electronic keys contained in the chip or by physical visual methods such as UV printing, holograms, microtext or Magicard’s HoloKote watermark.

Photo ID can be applied across multiple industries:

Government

One of the most common uses of ID cards is for the identification and authentication of citizens to access rights or benefits in society. This can range from voter IDs in emerging democracies through to multi-application national ID cards used to cross borders. Many state or federally issued driver’s licenses are printed locally on desktop retransfer printers. High levels of visual or electronic security are a fundamental tenet of an effective citizen ID and can range from electronic keys stored on the smart card’s chip to visual security elements including holograms, UV printed images and Magicard’s HoloKote watermark.

Education

All personnel on an educational campus should be carrying some form of visual ID, most commonly in the form of an ID badge worn about their person. Authenticating an individual who is trying to gain access to a campus or who is located in a protected area can be achieved using visual verification, provided the card has enough effective secure visual elements in place. Typically this includes a photograph, but to prevent counterfeiting, the card should also include an additional security feature such as a hologram, UV printing or better still a hard to copy feature such as Magicard’s HoloKote watermark that can be uniquely tied to the school.

Corporate

Most enterprises now issue employees, contractors and visitors with cards in order to verify identity. ID card printers enable the instant printing of these cards by HR or facilities departments for employees and visitors. Ensuring these cards cannot easily be copied is a fundamental security requirement which can be achieved by using additional visual security features, such as Magicard’s HoloKote watermark, on each card.

Events

Delegates, exhibitors and contractors can be issued with a visual identifier in the form of an ID card so they can be quickly and easily authenticated for access to the event, at given times or to locations within the event that are available to them. Clearly identifiable, personalised cards can be issued on the spot using desktop ID card printers and easy to use badging software. To prevent fraudulent entry, added visual security, such as a HoloKote watermark, can be written to every card printed

Facilities

In most critical facilities all employees are required to wear a visual identifier at all times. It is imperative that this is secured from fraud to prevent imposters and potential security threats. A quick but secure check can be carried out with usual visual identification only if the card has additional security features alongside the personalised printing. This could be the use of a customised hologram, some UV printing or for the most secure applications, the use of a secure HoloKote watermark, which can be tied to a specific, single printer – preventing the fraudulent printing of counterfeit cards. Government-issued IDs such as national ID cards and driver’s licenses are widely used for verification of individuals using public facilities – again it is critical these are secured.

Healthcare

Visual identity within a medical facility is important. Staff IDs reassure a patient who they are dealing with, patients need to be easily identified and only appropriate visitors should be granted entry to wards. ID cards with secure visual identity features such as a HoloKote watermark can facilitate this. A desktop ID card printer at the reception desk can be used to instantly issue secure IDs to all incoming patients, contractors and visitors

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About the author

Clare Lamb
By Clare Lamb

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