Personalization - process, during which the card becomes from a depersonalized copy of plastic, received by the issuer from the manufacturer, into an object with individual characteristics that distinguish one card from another. This happens through the implementation of certain surface and electrical personalization procedures.

Surface personalization may include:

  • stamping and relief coloring;
  • indent printing
  • graphical printing (monochrome and color)
  • laser engraving

Electrical personalization may include:

  • data recording onto the magnetic stripe (encoding of the magnetic stripe)
  • data recording into the microchip

The history of card personalization begins with the inception of plastic cards, therefore, surface personalization and the encoding of the magnetic stripe is familiar to issuers around the world.

For effective management of the surface personalization and encoding of the magnetic strip you will require a special software. High-volume devices such as Maxsys, MX 1000/2000/6000, DC 9000/7000/500, MPR 3000/5000/5800, have a controller in their composition, which has the necessary functionality. For desktop personalization devices, such as a DataCard embosser or a printer, the management function is assigned to a specialized software.

Latley the card personalization process usually includes the microchip personalization.

Writing data to the microchip implies the exchange of data and commands between the personalization device and the microchip, implementation of the crypto-procedures. The microchip personalization is completed with the help of specialized software, which is required as for the conveyor, and as for the desktop personalization devices


Personalization of plastic cards in the banking sector is strictly standardized. Magnetic stripe encoding must be encoded according to ISO 7813. The personalization of the microchip must meet the standards of ISO 7816, EMV Common Personalization 1.0


To create an effective and successful personalization system management, we recommend the issuer to pay attention to some of the important features of this process.

Magnetic stripe encoding

The personalization device records onto the magnetic stripe, data presented in the format compliant with ISO 7813. At the same time, some of the data preparation systems form files in which the information for the magnetic stripe is presented as a set of individual fields. In this case, the software which provides the personalization process management must ensure the construction of data from individual fields in the sequence, the format of which complies with ISO 7813.

Microchip Personalization

The specificity of the microchip personalization process imposes certain requirements on the software for personalization management. Let us consider these singularities and software requirements following from them in to more details.

Each card corresponds to a specific protocol, that is, a set of rules for interaction with the personalization device. The standard for today T0 and T1 protocols are specified in the ISO 7816 standards. But there are cards that work on the I2C BUS protocol, therefore the solution for personalization management should support interaction with all the protocols, used in the card industry practice.

Personalization of different types of native-cards is carried out by different sets and command sequences and cryptographic procedures, therefore, the architecture solution for personalization management should provide an easy transition from one type of card to another.

When issuing a large volume of cards of great importance is the personalization time, which is reduced in particular through the use of additional devices, and often of different type (conveyor and desktop). Therefore, the solution for personalization management should support the integration of a wide range of devices into one system.

In most cases microchip card personalization implies the use of crypto devices, the structure and quantity of which can vary. That is why the personalization management solution, needs to support most of the crypto devices or be indifferent to their type.

The card industry use the EMV Common Personalization and Visa Common Personalization standards, therefore if you work with microchip financial cards, the personalization management system is required to meet these standards.

PRONIT Company’s Solutions

DeskPerso software solution for surface personalization and magnetic stripe encoding management
SCPE software solution for microchip personalization management
DC9K MS Rewriting Utility Software solution for cards personalization management in several stages
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