Does calibration REALLY apply to the size of my credit card?

by Garber Metrology

Credit Card CalibrationDoes calibration REALLY apply to the size of my credit card?

It’s one of those things we take for granted about something we use every day.

We’ve all had it happen, you’re in line at the grocery store attempting to check out, when you reach for you trusty credit card. You swipe, strip facing out, and… nothing. You try again, and again, as the line behind you starts to stare. This is a common occurrence for credit card machines, especially when you’re traveling. The problem is that there can be a slight variance between the size of a credit card between Europe and the U.S. In particular, if a card is too thin, the device will have trouble reading the magnetic strip, which can really add to the time and hassle of making a purchase, which is often the last thing you want to do when you’re travelling abroad.

The ID-1

As with many things in this world, credit cards are also subjected to a number of standards, in particular the ID-1 which is a subset of the ISO/IEC 7810 or the international standardization of identification cards, which includes not only your ID but typically your bank card as well. These standards relate to size, thickness, and overall durability of an identification or bank card and put in place by the International Standardization Organization (ISO). According to the specifications for the ID-1 a standardized bank or ID cards have a thickness of 0.76 mm (0.030 in). While that gives us a fairly accurate representation for all cards, here’s where the variance comes in, the original design and size was created using the Imperial measurement system, so these numbers can get rounded one way or another during conversion around the world. That rounding, despite being miniscule, is what can affect your credit cards ability to work when you’re traveling abroad.

Why Calibration Matters

Calibration is important for a lot of reasons, especially when it comes to matters of money. The need for accuracy in our incredibly fast paced lifestyles is exactly why Garber Metrology has dedicated themselves to the science behind it. Garber has been in the business for more than 40 years and has a keen understanding of calibrations on both a large and a small scale. Yes, even the accuracy of the size of our credit cards has to be treated with extreme precision.  It’s one of those things we don’t think about with regard to something we use every day.  If your business relies on the accuracy of any sort of measurement, Garber is the name to trust.

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