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Magnatic Stripe Reader (MSR) - INFORMATION

 
1. MSRs and Data Magnetic Tracks

 

Data magnetic tracks are located on the reverse side of plastic cards. MSRs can read 3 magnetic tracks in several combinations, depending which model is being used.

These combinations are called single / dual / triple track magnetic stripe readers, and each track is destinated to a specific application:

Track 1:  IATA (airline industry), alphanumeric data, 7 bit, 210 BPI, 82 characters maximum.

Track 2:  ABA (banking industry), numeric data, 5 bit, 75 BPI, 40 characters maximum.

Track 3:  THRIFT (several uses), numeric data, 5 bit, 210 BPI, 107 characters maximum.

The proper location of the magnetic tracks on the back of the card follows the specifications of the ISO 7811; refer to Figure 1 below:

 

NOTE:  Dimensions are noted in inches.


 

Figure 1

International Standards Organization (ISO) Credit Card Format

Track 1

Field ID

Contents

Length
a Start Sentinel 1
b Format Code "B" 1
c Account Number 13 or 16
d Separator "^" 1
e Cardholder Name variable
f Separator "^" 1
g Expiration Date 4
h Optional Discretionary Data variable
i End Sentinel 1
j Linear Redundancy Check (LRC) 1

  Track 2

Field ID

Contents

Length
a Start Sentinel 1
b Account Number 13 or 16
c Separator "=" 1
d Expiration Date "YYMM" 4
e Optional Discretionary Data variable
f End Sentinel 1
g Linear Redundancy Check (LRC) 1

Track 3

Track 3 is generally used for driver''s license numbers and frequent flyer and buyer program account numbers.

  • The information contained in the above article consists of excerpts from Infomax International''s support Web site. Any content editing was done for space considerations. Where possible, the article was left in its entirety. The technical information and troubleshooting described herein are for informational purposes only. For additional information or the complete article, please go to Infomax International''s support Web site at http://www.infomax-usa.com

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