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Card/ID Number Overview

This page applies to:

PaperCut NG/MF supports two closely related features:

  • Card number: the number read from a swipe or proximity card assigned to a user. Swipe and proximity cards are often used to authenticate users at hardware terminals, copiers, and Print Release Stations.
  • ID number: a unique number allocated to a user, for example, a student/employee number or a random number. It can be keyed in at a copier, hardware terminal, or Release Station instead of username/password authentication. Because ID numbers can be guessed or learnt by others, for user authentication we recommend coupling them with a secret PIN.

Because both card numbers and ID numbers function as a unique number that identifies a user, they both share the same field in the User record of the database — the Card/ID number. This means that all administrative functions related to card numbers and ID numbers are the same because they operate on the same database field.

A screenshoot of Card/Identity Numbers on a User Details page in PaperCut NG or MF

Why have two Card Numbers?

PaperCut NG/MF supports two different Card/ID Numbers for each user: the primary and the secondary Card/ID number. Two numbers are better than one because:

  • one number can be for a card, and the other for an ID number in case the user misplaces their card
  • different brands of card readers might read different numbers from the same card, so having two numbers allows both types of readers to be supported
  • you can issue new cards to users and phase out the old cards with an overlap period in which they both work.

Use of either the primary or secondary Card/ID number field is optional.

Getting Card/ID Numbers into PaperCut NG/MF

There is a range of tools you can use to add Card/ID Numbers into PaperCut NG/MF: