Encoding/Magnetic Stripes are not all the same. On the outside they are all made of a magnetic material coated in some way on the document. However, there are different ways to coat the material on the document and different ways to make the magnetic material. These all affect the performance of the material in some way.
The properties of the magnetic stripe are all defined during the manufacturing process. These properties define the signal strength of the encoding, the coercivity of the stripe, the ability to resist erasure, even the waveshape of the recording. These parameters are not controlled by the user, but they can have a tremendous effect on the performance of the system and should be defined by the user.
Even the method of coating the magnetic material on the document can influence the performance of the stripe. A direct coating on a paper ticket may produce a stripe that is much more abrasive than the stripe on a laminated plastic card. This abrasiveness will affect the life of the magnetic heads being used.
Some magnetic stripes have coatings over the stripe to protect the stripe from abrasion thus prolonging the life of the stripe on the card or ticket. This coating may affect the performance of the stripe in other ways.
Johnson Business Machines, Inc. will handle all your encoding needs. We work with you on a one-on-one basis to determine your needs and how to best implement them. Encoding/Magnetic Stripes are a wonderful means of providing security and information for your customers - utilizing them can greatly enhance your business and your profit margins.