The reputable trade journal Card Manufacturing recently took a close look at the subject of personalized banking and credit cards. If you’re not familiar with the article already, it’s well worth reading because of the insight it provides into new developments and opportunities.
The author, David Tushie, is a long-established industry expert and independent consultant. He is also the Standards and Technical Representative of the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA). In the article he writes, “While flat card printing could be considered an accelerating trend, it could also be a natural result of the move the brands have made to give more control of the card surfaces back to the issuing financial institutions.” He points out that a number of leading issuers have already turned their backs on embossing for this reason.
Tushie’s remarks are well-timed in view of the compelling new (marketing) opportunities that are being spawned by drop-on-demand (DoD) inkjet technology, for example. It offers practically unlimited flexibility for the design and positioning of the personalized data. White lettering on a dark background, horizontal or vertical card orientation, rapid font style and size changes, flexible positioning of the card holder’s data – such design freedom is unprecedented. Now DoD printing is seen as the only technology capable of delivering these layout options economically.
Alongside marketing aspects, David Tushie identifies entirely pragmatic reasons for adopting new card layouts based on such printing techniques. He draws attention, for instance, to the Quick Read card recently announced by Visa, “[...] allowing the issuer to group all the important card information (account number, expiration date and security code) in one location for easy access when the card is used for online and telephone purchases.”
If you want to learn more, David Tushie’s article on the new look for financial transaction cards is available here.