Magnetic Stripe

What Does Magnetic Stripe Mean?

Magnetic stripe technology allows data to be stored on a conventional plastic card by magnetically charging tiny bits within a magnetic stripe on one side of the card. This type of technology has largely built the new credit and debit card model, which has, to a certain extent, replaced cash transactions around the world.


Magnetic stripe is also known as magstripe.

Techopedia Explains Magnetic Stripe

By creating magnetic stripe cards with high durability and data integrity, banks and financial businesses have been able to implement all sorts of card-based transactions and procedures. Magnetic stripes are used in millions or billions of transactions per day and are also getting put into various types of identification cards. Specialized card readers can quickly take information off of a magnetic card, which is sent to a bank for authorization/authentication.

However, in recent years, a brand-new technology has emerged to rival magnetic card transactions. Experts refer to this as a “contactless payment system”; it involves situations where transaction information may be transmitted, not by a magnetic stripe, but by RFID signals sent from a small device chip. Apple, Inc., is pioneering contactless payment systems with its newest class of mobile devices, and others are likely to follow this trend, providing a future alternative to magnetic stripe cards.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…