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Gift Cards: What about Mag Strips

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The Magnetic Strip for cards that work with Theatre Manager have a very specific format. This is:


This means:

  • %TM^ - is mandatory as the first 4 characters in the mag strip so that your credit card reader can read it
  • xxxxx - the control number you want to assign to the pass/gift certificate. It can be between 3 and 10 numbers. It must be:
    • Unique to all gift certificates in your system - you cannot use them twice
    • Can only be applied to a pass/gift certificate where you manually assign the number
    • Any automatically assign control numbers should start at a number much higher than what is on the card. Example. if you get 10,000 cards, you could start the pass numbers at 20,000. Any automatically assigned control number of other passes must start at a number far greater than 20,000 + 10,000 - so we'd suggest starting other passes at 500,000
  • ^ - to separate the control number 'xxxxx' from 'yyyyyyyyyyyyyyy'
  • yyyyyyyyyyyyyyy - is a random 15 character alphabetic string consisting of 0-9, A-Z, a-z in any combination. It must be 15 characters and will be used for the online redemption password so that patrons can redeem the pass if they know the control number and the password
  • ? - the terminating character of the swipe
If you use mags strips with your plastic gift card, we also suggest putting a ladder bar code an number on the front (per the image).

That way you can do one of:

  • Swipe the card in a USB reader to get the pass
  • Use a standard bar code scanner (like a Honeywell USB scanner) to scan the bar code -or-
  • Type the number in, if all else fails
Theatre Manager does not require magnetic strips for gift cards, but if you want to use them with your Credit Card reader, you will need to implement this feature.

Swiping the card sends the number to Theatre Manager as the control number.

When you set up a Gift Card, you use the number assigned to the card's magnetic strip as the Control Number added to Theatre Manager when the card it is sold. You swipe the plastic card through the mag swipe, and it will put the (very long) number in Theatre Manager.

Cards can be reloaded from inside of theatre Manager. Adding value to the card is a simple process in Theatre Manager, and doesn't necessarily need the card again. Patrons can add money to their card by giving you their credit card number over the phone or pay for it in person.

When paying, the card would need to be swiped into a card reader connected to a machine using Theatre Manager via USB.

In additions to the mag swipe, the unique card number be printed on the face of the card and if possible to have that number printed as a Barcode too so you can scan the bar code when registering the card to Theatre Manager.

Numbers can start at 100 on into perpetuity. When sold as an entity into our software the setting will be that the unique number - or control number as we call it - can be defined at time of purchase.

Theatre Manager can manage the value of the card, it's redemption and reload if necessary and all controlled in our software but this control number.