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. Chaque caractère encodé sur la bande est composé d’un ensemble de bits de valeur 0 ou 1. La polarité des particules magnétiques est changée pour définir chacun de ces bits. En changeant l’aimantation de ces particules tout au long de la piste, on peut ainsi encoder des informations binaires qui seront transmises au lecteur.


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.