“Brand identity & image, small batches, biometric and metal cards – the new PERSOSMART Color is perfectly equipped to handle current trends in 2024.”

In recent years, many card issuers and banks have initiated the switch from embossed to flat cards. In this interview, Gaël Murat, Senior Commercial Director at Atlantic Zeiser, explains what trends can be anticipated in the 2024 market, how the new PERSOSMART Color can ideally support them and what exactly sets the innovation apart.

At the TRUSTECH event in November 2023, one of the major trade fairs for payment and identification solutions, you presented the new PERSOSMART Color. What are its key features?

Gaël Murat: As the name suggests, the new PERSOSMART Color delivers four-color edge-to-edge printing, unlike its predecessor, the PERSOSMART Mono. Although it offers the same features as the mono version, e.g. magnetic stripe and chip encoding, laser engraving, a registration camera, verification camera and label applicator, the real difference lies in its print module.

What types of cards is the PERSOSMART Color suited for?

Gaël Murat: Well, in general terms, financial cards, loyalty cards, gift cards and access control cards. But also for any card that is used to confirm a person’s identity, i.e. all types of ID cards.

The PERSOSMART Color promises brilliant printing results. How is this a decisive advantage for your customers?

Gaël Murat: Today, financial cards not only have to fulfill certain basic functions, such as ensuring reliable, secure transactions, they also play an increasingly vital role in marketing. Financial cards are the most frequently used interface between a bank and its cardholders. In very compact form, they convey the respective brand’s identity and image via the use of colors, fonts and logos. For obvious reasons, it is decisive for card issuers to offer cards that are attractive and professional-looking, while clearly distinguishing the brand. With our new PERSOSMART Color, issuers benefit from razor-sharp printing results thanks to drop-on-demand (DoD) color printing, which is guaranteed on matt, hybrid-metallic, biometric cards, as well as on environmentally friendly or other types of materials.

In terms of the card materials you just mentioned, are you seeing a preference from card issuers?

Gaël Murat: We can certainly see that metal cards are becoming increasingly popular, especially in the financial sector. These high-quality, premium cards not only convey more exclusivity than standard plastic cards, they also offer many benefits to cardholders. For instance, biometric cards with fingerprint sensors, where the fingerprint replaces the PIN code for contactless transactions, are also becoming increasingly popular. The PERSOSMART Color is clearly geared towards meeting these new trends. Our robust DoD color printing also ensures outstanding quality, ink adhesion and abrasion resistance with all on-trend card materials.

What are some of the other trends that you anticipate that are likely to continue in 2024?

Gaël Murat: Flexibility appears to be more important than it has ever been for card issuers. Banks in particular have to process increasingly small print runs or batches with many different print template variants. The demand for customer-specific and truly unique products is on the rise – in line with current marketing and branding trends. The PERSOSMART Color is designed for quick changeovers and small production quantities. The workflow in the machine is optimized so that frequent print changes for different cards are a breeze. And importantly, it can be operated by staff who don’t have advanced graphic or design knowledge. The PERSOSMART Color also offers the option of personalizing all card types and mixing different batches in the production process for even greater operational efficiency.

Above and beyond the trends that the PERSOSMART Color supports, what are the main advantages card issuers benefit from?

Gaël Murat: Card issuers can use the PERSOSMART Color to keep their stock of card materials low: they can also print blank cards and no longer have to keep a large number of card designs in stock. This saves both storage space and costs. Cards go through the entire printing process on the PERSOSMART Color – from the unprinted blank to the finished designed card with all required functionalities, word/image marks, payment scheme logos and various card backgrounds. Printing high-resolution photographs of people for ID applications is also one of the compelling services the new system offers.

You introduced the PERSOSMART Color to a broad audience for the very first time just a few weeks ago at TRUSTECH 23. What were trade fair visitors most enthusiastic about?

Gaël Murat: In addition to its capability to produce fully finished and high-impact cards with exceptional quality, many trade fair visitors praised the compact machine layout and small footprint, which enable the PERSOSMART Color to be set up even in very small spaces. The fact that Atlantic Zeiser develops its own inks, which guarantee maximum quality and durability, was also very well received. And in the context of the current market conditions where many companies are struggling with a shortage of skilled workers, visitors were very impressed with the PERSOSMART Color’s high degree of automation, including its automated printhead cleaning feature. And last but certainly not least, they were delighted to hear that our more than 30 years of experience with digital printing solutions went straight into the system’s development.

If a customer spontaneously decides to invest in a PERSOSMART, how long does it take for the machine to be fully operational?

Gaël Murat: On average, we need approximately a week for installation and calibration and another one for operator training. So the PERSOSMART Color or Mono is usually ready for operation within 2 to 3 weeks. Anyone who has any questions is very welcome to contact us directly.


Designed as a mid-range system with an hourly output of up to 1,500 cards in mono dual sided configuration (up to 1,200 in color dual sided configuration), the new PERSOSMART from Atlantic Zeiser makes it easier than ever for users to enter an all-new era of printing and personalization in the flat financial, ID and commercial card segments.

Edge-to-edge Full-color card printing

Whether operated as a main card production line or a cost-effective backup system, the PERSOSMART is ideally equipped to meet today’s and tomorrow’s card design trends, ranging from vertical layouts to state-of-the-art card number designs and positions, matt finishes, as well as hybrid metallic materials.

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