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Execu/Gift - Encode Gift Cards

If you're looking for information on Employee Login Cards, go here: Use Employee Login Cards


Due to the time and cost involved in printing low volume gift cards, we no longer provide this service. If you need gift cards, you'll need to purchase them from a company specializing in magnetically encoded cards, commonly called PVC cards. There are many of these companies and their prices are much less than we could offer per card. If you have the equipment, you can encode cards yourself.

When ordering the cards, it's important that they be encoded properly.

  • We recommend HiCo cards, because they're most compatible with the card readers used by our customers. The encoding lasts longer and they have fewer read errors over their lifetime.

  • The card must be encoded on TRACK 2 with a MAXIMUM LENGTH 10 digit number.


After encoding, Track 2 will have a character, or Sentinel, added to the front and end of the account number. This tells software which track contains the data it received.

The Start Sentinel Character for Track 2 is ; (semicolon) and the End Sentinel Character is ? (question mark).

If you encoded 1234567890 into Track 2, swiping that card into Notepad will show ;1234567890? and this is correct. 

If you see Sentinel Characters other than these (; and ?), your cards are likely encoded on the wrong track.

More Information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_stripe_card

Because the Execu/Gift module uses a 10digit account number, cards can only be encoded with a maximum length of 10 numbers, or 9999999999. Numbers longer than this will have all digits after the 10th dropped. 


  • All other tracks must be blank.

  • Leading zeros are not required (1234 is treated the same as 0000001234). 

  • You should print the number on the card in case the magnetic track can't be read.

  • You should print a disclaimer on the card to let the guest know what it can be used for, when it can be used, if it expires, if it has cash value, etc. You should also check into any applicable laws concerning gift cards and include any required information on the card.












This link will help you find vendors that can provide custom printed and encoded magnetic cards: https://www.google.com/search?q=custom+magnetic+stripe+cards

See Also:

Execu/Gift Setup and Configuration  

Redeeming Gift Cards

Manual Entry / Edit / Delete

Donated Gift Cards

Reward cards

Encode Gift Cards

Article ID
Last Modified
 3/1/2023 5:09 PM