We eat, sleep, and drink plastic cards here Intercard and thought we would shout from the roof tops from our Hertfordshire office just how much we’re passionate about being plastic card manufacturers.
Being plastic card manufacturers is big business and for those of you who love stats, back in 2014, plastic card manufacturers shipped approximately 5.76 billion payment cards. In addition, 0.85 billion high security credit, debit, and prepaid cards were manufactured.
There is this so called ‘myth’ that the plastic cards industry it dying. Looking at those stats taken from three years ago clearly shows there’s a huge demand worldwide for plastic.
The financial sector has invested heavily in them and they are not going anywhere anytime soon.
The fintech revolution is here and whether you agree we are moving towards a cashless society or not – challenger banks/fintechs such as Monzo and Metro having become popular with consumers who travel abroad with their small fees. This appealing feature has made many making sure they pack their plastic when they go on holiday.
The plastic card revolution is still resilient – but how do we keep this revolution going?
Below are some key features we add to our cards that make our plastic cards stand out. Viva the plastic card revolution!
Magnetic Strip Encoding
For magnetic strip encoding, which incorporates Alphanumeric data can be encoded to include variable information such as unique card numbers, sequential numbers, account numbers, card holder’s names, contact details, expiry dates and passwords or codes required for secure entry or Plastic Card Personalisation.
Contact or ‘Chip’ initialisation encoding
A contact smart card is a plastic card that contains an embedding, integrated circuit microchip or an on-board microprocessor. A reader makes physical contact with the silver or gold plate on the card face and then reads and transmits its data electronically.
In a nutshell, there are two types of embossing: 1. OCR B – the larger size (5mm) and is used for embossing numbers only, a maximum of 19 characters across. 2. Simplex – 3mm in height and is used for both lettering and numbering to a maximum of 27 characters across.
Durable, coloured tipping foil is used to visually heighten the embossing characters. The most common colours selected for the ‘tipping’ process are gold, silver and black (white and other colours are also used)
RFID initialisation encoding for Plastic Card Personalisation
The techy bit and one for all you tech geeks out there!
Contactless card can hold significant amounts of data, whilst operating without any direct physical link with the reader: communication is performed via transmitting radio waves read by a proximity card reader.
A contactless smart card consists of multiple components: an embedded aerial that enables the card to communicate with an antenna coupling unit and an electronic microchip, or a microprocessor which stores both retained and communicated data and finally the laminated plastic card body.
The ‘chip’ controls all communication with the reader, data retention, data encryption and authentication security.
The contactless card offers flexibility of transactions when minimal human intervention is required e.g. access control, cashless catering and vending. Smart cards can support multiple applications.
Proximity cards are proving an increasingly popular way for organisations and businesses to control access.
They differ from contactless smart cards in that they cannot have new information written onto them. For this reason, plastic card manufactures typically do proximity card encoding before shipping.
This is a brief overview of what is taken into consideration when creating/designing our cards.
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