Banking Card Personalization

“It’s perfect for implementing the latest trends in card design”

PERSOSMART, a new mid-range system for the highly versatile personalization of flat financial cards, made its first appearance at Trustech 2022, a major trade show for payments and identification solutions. In this interview, Atlantic Zeiser’s Senior Commercial Director, Gaël Murat, talks about why card issuers now have almost unlimited freedom when configuring personal data appearing on cards and why drop-on-demand inkjet technology is the future.

What kind of applications is the system suitable for?

Gaël Murat: The new PERSOSMART is suitable for many card applications, such as banking cards (both EMV and closed loop), governmental cards (national ID, voting, driving license, access control), and commercial cards (gift cards, loyalty cards).

How does the PERSOSMART meet customer challenges? What expertise does Atlantic Zeiser have in this area?

It’s an affordable, compact solution for high-resolution flat-card printing that works with banking, governmental, and commercial card markets. Whether as a main production line or a cost-effective backup for an existing larger line, the PERSOSMART gives peace of mind to personalization bureaus and other service providers. Atlantic Zeiser has more than 20 years of experience in digital printing, has been the pioneer, and is the leader in drop-on-demand technology for card personalization.

How is the PERSOSMART addressing new card market trends?

The PERSOSMART is perfect for implementing the latest trends in card design. It embraces the current trend of migrating from embossed to flat cards in the banking market, and it gives designers nearly unlimited freedom for configuring the personal data that appear on the cards, even with vertical card layouts.

Other digital printing solution providers seem to struggle with white ink appearance. How are Atlantic Zeiser and PERSOSMART coping with this?

For an extremely elegant look on dark surfaces, the printer can use high-quality opaque white ink developed by our sister company, Tritron. We control the entire process – printhead, transport, ink – to deliver the perfect look and feel for white printing.

Which industries did your prospects come from during the Trustech show? What specific and perhaps typical challenges did they describe?

We had a lot of visitors from the card and payments industry, mostly banks and card issuers. The latter typically need to process smaller and smaller batches, with a lot of artwork variants. For them, rapid changeover for small production runs is a key feature that the PERSOSMART is bringing to the card personalization market.

Were there any concrete project inquiries at Trustech? If so, what is likely to happen with them?

We collected multiple promising leads to be followed up on either with an onsite visit and/or a commercial proposal. This shows how well our PERSOSMART has been received by the industry.

Personalizing cards is a very complex process that requires such elements as programming, printing, and verification. How does PERSOSMART ensure that these individual steps can be efficiently combined?

The new PERSOSMART is not just hardware that we deliver to our clients. It’s a complete platform that includes an inspection camera to reduce validation effort and execution time and a dedicated workflow to reduce artwork mix-ups and the hidden graphics chain setup costs. We have designed our solution to be operated efficiently by people who are not graphics chain experts.

In your estimation, what experience did visitors at the Atlantic Zeiser stand at Trustech already have with drop-on-demand printing technology? Did you still sense any hesitancy here? If so, how did you counter it?

Card issuers have been using embossing, a legacy technology, to personalize cards for more than three decades. For the last couple of years, all major payment schemes and banks have decided to migrate to flat cards. This can be done with ribbon-based thermal transfer technology, but that becomes very expensive when you consider the running costs of supplies. The drop-on-demand technology has by far the lowest cost for supplies, combined with high abrasion resistance to comply with market requirements. All the visitors realized how fast, reliable, and affordable the PERSOSMART is. It is now commonly accepted that drop-on-demand is the preferred card personalization option and will remain so.

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