The ISO: Size Matters with Credit Cards

Have you ever thought about the reasons your ID cards are so similar to each other, and even similar to ID card sizes in other countries? Whether you have thought about this and wondered, or it hasn’t crossed your mind, there is a very good explanation. This explanation deals with an organization called the ISO.

The “ISO,” otherwise known as the International Organization for Standardization, is the standard-setting body of international representatives that produces world-wide commercial and industrial standards.

The organizing body that sets standards for ID cards and the sizes of both normal and oversized ID cards, the ISO determines what the cards are made of and ensure their standards are ideal for a broad spectrum of uses.

The ISO is the reason your ID cards are made of PVC and are pretty much the same size across the board. This allows for easier processing and recognition, and ensures your cards remain standardized.

Created on the 23 of February in 1947, the ISO was formed to ensure that international standards for commerce and industry were met to facilitate ease of use and production. ID cards are one of many items they set standards for.

The ISO calls itself a non-governmental organization but it is really much more powerful than a normal NGO. Its standards many times become law through national standards agreements or treaties, and it is this ability to influence international standards that makes the ISO so powerful.

Several major corporations and at least one standard-setting body from each member country ensure the ISO’s success, as does its position as a consortium with links to many countries around the world.

Another interesting fact about the ISO is that they took their name, not from the acronym for “International Standards Organization,” but from the Greek word “isos,” which means “equal.” ISO, (pronounced eye-so), was chosen as its international name to avoid confusion, and this is what it is normally called.

Thus, the ISO is the reason your ID cards are all similar to each other and even to those in other countries; it is why your ID cards are made from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and why they come in standard sizes.

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