The cards that matter now

Distributing financial aid in Mexico in times of corona

In Mexico, social benefit programs pertaining to the coronavirus are designed to reach people in need quickly. Mexican card manufacturer MyCard is contributing to this – thanks to their new PERSOMASTER from Atlantic Zeiser.

When the coronavirus hits a country, everything must happen very quickly. To ensure that government aid in Mexico reaches those economically affected quickly and effectively, companies that personalize financial cards for social benefit programs are working under high pressure. One example is MyCard, who is located in Tequisquiapan, about 100 miles northeast of Mexico City. The company has been active in the card business for almost 30 years, initially with a focus on ID cards, but since 2011 increasingly also for financial cards, mainly on behalf of various FinTechs. Usually, the batch sizes at MyCard range from five and 4,000 cards. However, as part of the Covid-19 help initiative, MyCard is now personalizing up to 1.2 million cards, “within the shortest delivery times,” reports Rogelio Tejada, CEO of MyCard. For those cards that require chip programming, he therefore relies among other things on PERSOMASTER, a new personalization system from Atlantic Zeiser. Based on drop-on-demand inkjet technology (DoD), the system is much more flexible regarding the printing layout of the variable data and much faster than traditional thermal transfer printing or embossing processes. In addition, Rogelio Tejada emphasizes, the PERSOMASTER’s ease of use and its reliability is now paying off particularly well.

Up to 4,000 cards per hour – with chip programming

More than ever before, fast and effective action is now the order of the day in Mexico. Although the country is the 11th-largest economy in the world, the coronavirus hits it particularly hard. About 50 percent of the approximately 130 million Mexicans live below the poverty line. Another 30 percent are vulnerable to sinking into poverty. Mexico’s government has launched a major social program “to support the poorest part of the population directly with money, without detours via the states,” explains Rogelio Tejada. These people receive money through special financial cards, they can go shopping with or withdraw cash.

These debit cards are issued by regular banks or FinTechs and then processed through major payment schemes. Usually they look like regular debit cards but must now be provided with special imprint, such as “Apoyo Emergente – Covid 19”. Depending on the card issuer the imprint varies. As these cards have to be issued in a short time, some cards have only a magnetic stripe, other cards are equipped with an EMV chip. In this case, the PERSOMASTER can show its performance. “We can personalize and program 4,000 cards per hour and print the special Covid-19 notice on it,” says Rogelio Tejada. With other systems, also having chip programming capabilities but no DoD inkjet technology, he can only produce around 1,000 cards per hour. Furthermore, thanks to the DoD inkjet technology, MyCard and its customers benefit from the greatest design flexibility when it comes to the layout of the variable data on the cards. Besides, PERSOMASTER can graphically personalize pin-sharp and extremely abrasion-resistant in either black or white.

Extensive experience with DoD technology

MyCard has been convinced by Atlantic Zeiser’s DoD technology twelve years ago. At that time, the company invested in a CARDLINE VERSA, which it still uses for commercial cards and financial cards with magnetic stripes. “We have had very good experience with this system, the DoD technology, and Atlantic Zeiser in general.” Tejada says. Six months ago, when most people still thought of Corona exclusively as a beer brand, MyCard then put the PERSOMASTER into operation. “We wanted to further expand our business with the up-and-coming FinTechs,” says Tejada. Especially with this target group MyCard had acquired an excellent reputation. “For the FinTechs in Mexico, we are probably the largest card manufacturer. And we always want to be the fastest, too.” Thus, MyCard was well prepared for the current pandemic.

“We are now personalizing up to 1.2 million cards, within the shortest delivery times,” reports Rogelio Tejada, CEO of MyCard. For those cards that require chip programming, he therefore relies among other things on PERSOMASTER, a new personalization system from Atlantic Zeiser.

Full rainbow deck capability

The PERSOMASTER installed at MyCard not only has an inline mailing module, but also supports the full Rainbow Deck capability. The system can process multiple small and completely different orders in a single production run – seamlessly and without any interruptions, even in case of order sizes of one. “At the time of commissioning, we could not foresee that the orders would be so large,” says the CEO of MyCard. “Therefore, it was very valuable for us that the PERSOMASTER was able to process many small orders as efficiently as very high order peaks.”

Exceptionally reliable

In daily business the PERSOMASTER proves to be extremely reliable. With MyCard’s other personalization systems, even cards with the smallest deviations from the standard cause machine downtimes because of jams at the infeed or during the transport of the cards through the machine, reports Rogelio Tejada. In comparison, PERSOMASTER is extremely uncomplicated and “easy to work with,” as Tejada puts it. This is also an advantage for another reason: “We have many employees that we have trained to operate a personalization system. They can work with the PERSOMASTER without any problems. Should a fault or a jamming occur, it is easy to detect and to trouble-shoot. On other machines we operate, the machine operators are often overwhelmed, call for a service technician immediately and the work does not continue. We simply cannot afford this, especially now when we have to meet very short delivery dates due to the corona pandemic.”

„I really appreciate honesty“

Rogelio Tejada is full of praise for the cooperation with Atlantic Zeiser. This applies both to local support – for example via the Coesia subsidiary in Mexico City – and to support from Atlantic Zeiser headquarters in Germany. “My contacts at Atlantic Zeiser really took care of everything,” says the CEO of MyCard. “And they were always honest. When I wanted to know how many cards we could produce per hour using the mailing module, other providers kept humming and hawing and promised us the moon. Atlantic Zeiser told us: ‘You can produce 2,900 cards per hour if the quality of the cover letter and envelopes is right. No more, no less.’ That’s exactly what happened. Really, I do appreciate that honesty.”

“We are now personalizing up to 1.2 million cards, within the shortest delivery times,” reports Rogelio Tejada, CEO of MyCard. For those cards that require chip programming, he therefore relies among other things on PERSOMASTER, a new personalization system from Atlantic Zeiser.

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Nadine Kürner