CM Magazine

When Design Meets Security: The Future of Secure Documents

The fight against identity fraud and document forgery remains a top priority for governments and state security departments that are constantly searching to find new and innovative ways to stay one step ahead of the document forgers. They seek long-term and robust solutions in order to make the document incredibly hard to forge.

The customization of an ID document not only allows for a quick identification of the security by the controller it also guarantees a memorable and easily recognizable document, which makes it even more secure. The securities that are integrated into the document should be quick and easy to control, while offering a high level of resistance against various types of attacks.

The art of secure document conception

Providing innovative and sophisticated solutions for security documents requires not only offering a design that will make your document attractive it also means enhancing the intrinsic security of the identity document. Secure document conception can be achieved for ID cards and passports through the use of integrating security features with exclusive designs highlighting attack attempts and facilitating controls.

Securing the design of modern travel documents

With the passing of the Brexit and the hardening of travel restriction throughout the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, national and international border controls are of crucial importance to national security. Modern travel documents must offer both security and exclusivity, which can be easily detectable by the document controller due to their distinctive design, visible to the naked eye.

New state-of-the-art designs for passports such as for example, the optical (DOVID) and electronic components for passport and ID documents, make life a lot harder for potential forgers.

An attractive and enhanced security for ID Cards

To help states curb the threat of document fraud and to better control a document’s authenticity, modern ID cards must be secure and robust within a complex and fast-evolving environment. The use of a polycarbonate support has proven to be a first-rate answer to address these concerns.

The design of a country’s ID document also reinforces national pride as it offers a unique set of securities specifically integrated for that country’s document.

In order to meet these demands, card manufacturers are in search of a solution that results in a customized design combining powerful and easy-to-control security features.

The following security features for ID cards and passports when combined with inductive coupling technology, using electromagnetic coupling between the antenna and the module, results in a highly reliable and secure document which replies to the identity markets demands.

Secure components for ID cards and passports

  • The document’s module can be customized with a specific image such as the national coat of arms. In this example using CMI™ and CMI+™ technology (a combination of a large representation of the design in the center of the module with smaller additive elements around it), controllers can quickly recognize this specific security feature and can easily verify the module’s authenticity, which avoids module substitution. This level 1 security feature can also be controlled under ultraviolet (UV) light thanks to the properties of its tape.


  • For ID cards and passports, the document’s antenna can also be customized with a specific watermark, easy to control and verify yet extremely hard to forge such as with the CAI:
    • Security level 2 easily controllable with a flashlight or smartphone torch
    • This security, positioned inside the document’s body actively mitigates attacks by abrasion through backside attacks of the card and guarantees the integrity of the core of the document
  • A high-security transparent DOVID such as the DID™ Shape for ID cards and passports is very easy to identify and control and is embedded into the polycarbonate document’s body. It takes the form of a design composed of two distinct reflective colors, which have the exclusive property to permute upon a 90-degree rotation of the document on its plan. As all holographic components, it includes all three levels of security. Even though the first level is the most important for a quick, robust and efficient control, the two additional security levels will help to ensure that there is no doubt of the document’s authenticity. The DID™ Shape offers flexibility in terms of design as it allows not only for the integration of national emblems as optical security features, but also to create a specific shape with spread-out DOVID elements. It brings many advantages:
    • Unlimited design possibilities enhancing securities and unlocking full data protection
    • Guarantees high mechanical resistance of the data page
    • Field-proven with large-scale ongoing programs
  • In passports, the hinge, which is sewn within the booklets, can be customized with a specific text or design, etched in an aluminum layer, such as with CHI™. It brings two major advantages:
    • A level 1 security feature, quick and easy to control
    • The data page integrity due to strong resistance against the data page substitution

Providing innovative and sophisticated solutions for security documents requires offering an attractive document, while enhancing the security of the identity document. The above types of security features when combined work together, forming a robust structure that reinforces each other’s effect to provide an enhanced security on any document.

About the Author: Amaury Chasseux is heading the product management team of the identity business line in charge of developing SURYS and SPS solutions. He holds a master’s degree in materials engineering from the French University of Technology of Troyes and also studied management in Denmark. Amaury has been working more than 10 years in the high-security document field and before joining SURYS in 2017, he spent three years at ArjoSystems where he was in charge of cards and e-passports for major government projects.