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Card Durability

In the world of IDs, card durability is an important factor for a number of parties. We, the card holder want our cards to last as a matter of convenience as well as the issuers of the cards where creating new ones costs a pretty penny. What is it then that determines whether a card will make it through a 2, 5 or even 10 year lifespan?

 

There are several different tests which are conducted. The first test is the ISO/IEC 24789. This test is comprised of 2 parts. The first part determines the lifespan of the card by making estimations about how it will be used. One has to consider, what is the life span of the card? The standard ID card life is 5 years. Within that 5 year period, the vendors must determine how it will be stored and used. Storage will vary, some will keep the card in a wallet, others in a pocket. The ID will be exchanged between people to look at it, it may be swiped or scanned. Durability tests are then conducted on the cards to see whether these estimates are accurate.

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The ANSI INCITS 322 is another type of test which is used to see if the card physically endures tough environmental conditions. Some of the test includes putting cards in a paint can which is then filled up with a variety of substances and shaken for several hours. The complement to this test is the  ANSI INCITS 322 Surface Abrasion Test which involves putting the cards on a rotator which are ground by a machine. This is repeated for 5,000 cycles.

 

While the durability tests are important in creating the ideal card, they are not the only factor in creating them. A card’s creation is aldo dependent upon the relationship between the vendor and the issuer. Agreements between the two can take a considerable amount of time. Experts agree that it is important for vendors and issuers to come up with a standard practice to provide feedback regarding the cards’ durability and create standards for testing and issuing.

 

Card durability is also important not just for the convenience of the individuals which have the cards but because producing them is very costly. It is expensive to re-issue 50 million cards every 5 to 7 years. A card with a 10 year life span would be beneficial for muliple parties.

 

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