ID cards are one of those things that many business owners don’t think about until a need arises. Having the ability to print ID cards on demand is an incredibly convenient way to help increase security, improve marketing efforts, and reduce costs within a business. Of course, many will wonder if this investment is worth it, and if the benefits will outweigh the costs.


So, can an ID printer be beneficial for your business? Let’s take a closer look at these handy devices to understand the features, benefits, and bottom line.

What is an ID Card Printer?

Like any other printer, and ID card printer transfers images and text onto a physical medium. However, instead of using paper like a standard printer, ID card printers are designed to print onto hard plastic ID cards. Blank cards are purchased and then loaded into a feeding tray, much like paper would be loaded into a traditional printer. ID card printers tend to have a small footprint than a paper printer, but largely, the basic concept between these two styles of printers is the same.


The method at how an ID card printer works is much different than a standard printer, however. Since it wouldn’t be very effective to print ink onto a hard-plastic surface like an ID card, these printers can’t use the same ink cartridges found in a paper printer. A plastic business card printer uses sublimation and thermal printing to transfer the image onto the card. This helps with durability and ensures the image will remain on the card even after thorough wear and tear.


Operating an ID card printer is relatively easy. The user connects the printer to their computer using USB. There is then software installed onto the computer, which works with the printer to ensure the image is of the correct size and gives users the ability to tweak essential settings. This is a slightly different experience from a traditional printer where many software programs output standard page sizes, and there is not necessarily a proprietary software needed for printing.


The Benefits of ID Card Printers

There are several benefits to having an in-house plastic business card printer. The most important benefit comes down to the safety and security of the business and the people working there. Many companies are adopting a policy that always requires all staff to have an ID card on them. There are a couple of essential reasons for this. First, having these cards allows other employees to identify people that work in the business easily. This is important as it could potentially identify a security risk if someone without an ID card were to be in an area that’s exclusively meant for employees. ID badges also allow customers to easily identify staff and seek out assistance so they can have a positive experience in the business rather than searching for someone that may work there.


The second aspect of security relates to bringing badge printing in-house. This means that a third party is no longer relied upon for printing badges, which could be copied or stolen while in transit between the printing provider and the business. With many badges potentially having barcodes on them that contain sensitive information, the security risk of having a badge fall into the wrong hands is greater.


Of course, there is more to having an in-house ID card printer than just security. There is also a convenience factor at play. Businesses can quickly and easily create other cards that could serve several purposes. One example could be a customer membership or rewards card. Being able to print these cards in-house easily means customers can get their card almost instantly rather than waiting for it to be mailed out, which can lead to delays, loss of the card, among other issues. Plus, creating a customer membership or loyalty program can help retain existing customers who spend 67% more in the business compared to new or non-customers.


Finally, of course, the cost is always a factor. While the initial investment of an ID card printer may be higher than ordering new ID cards, the cost savings over time will become clear. Instead of ordering new cards to be printed from a third-party, which includes materials, time, shipping, and their profit margins, businesses can skip all of that and print their own ID cards at the lowest possible cost per card. As the volume of ID cards being printed increases, this may become an increasingly cost-effective option for businesses.


Should My Business Buy an ID Card Printer?

There are several great reasons to buy an ID card printer and bring this aspect of operations in-house. Of course, budget is always a factor, but over time, the investment should prove to be worth it. There are other things like safety and security, which can’t have a dollar value assigned to them. For the convenience, cost, and peace-of-mind, businesses should explore the option of purchasing their own ID card printer.


Browse the range of ID card printers available or, to learn more, contact the experts at AISInk today to get assistance with picking the right ID card printer for your business’ needs.