CM Magazine

Élan Awards Celebrate Excellence in the Global Card Industry

As new ideas and technologies converge, cards are being reimagined and this year’s ICMA Élan Awards of Excellence entries are truly a testament to that.

The awards competition motivates companies to showcase their technological, manufacturing, security and design achievements. The contest also drives innovation within card industry organizations, ultimately strengthening the entire industry.

ICMA would like to thank this year’s judges, all experienced card industry veterans who volunteered their time to review and judge the competition both in-person and on Zoom. With more than 130 entries this year, it was no easy task.

Thanks to David Tushie, ICMA standards representative, Brian Summerhayes of Barnes International and Mike Walsh of SICPA SecurInk.

The judges use a quantifiable scoring system based on criteria in nine categories: graphical design, printing, complexity, technology, quality, innovation, uniqueness, practicality and security (if applicable). They have the opportunity to hold and feel the entries.

Jeffrey Barnhart, ICMA founder and executive director, revealed the Élan Awards of Excellence winners in a virtual presentation on ICMA’s YouTube channel at 9:30 a.m. ET on December 9.

The 2022 Winners and Finalists

Manufacturing Excellence Awards

Loyalty, Promotional and Gift Cards

Winner: PLI Card Marketing Solutions for the Hollister Club Cali Gold Gift Card for Abercrombie & Fitch

Finalist: Valid (USA) for the Target Flying Ghosts Card for Stored Value Solutions - SVS

Finalist: Giesecke+Devrient (China) Technologies Co., Ltd. for the Starbucks Summer Momo Tea Gift Card for Starbucks


ID and Access Control Cards

Winner: Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited for the Permanent Resident Card of Canada for the Government of Canada - Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Finalist: Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited for the Northwest Territories Driver's License for the Government of Northwest Territories

Finalist: IDEMIA for the Utah Driver’s License/Identification Card for the Utah Department of Public Safety


Unique Innovation 

Winner: Giesecke+Devrient (China) Technologies Co., Ltd. for the China CITIC Bank Huawei Card (ceramic version) for China CITIC Bank Credit Card Center

Finalist: Goldpac Limited for the Guangdong Embroidery Cards for Bank of Guangzhou

Finalist: CompoSecure L.L.C. for the Arculus Key Card for Arculus Holdings L.L.C.


Secure Payment Cards

Winner: Giesecke+Devrient (China) Technologies Co., Ltd. for the Huaxia Bank Beauty Prime Years Platinum Card for Huaxia Bank

Finalist: IDEMIA for the FlexAccount Card, green and inclusive for a better society, for Nationwide

Finalist: Valid USA for the Mandalorian Visa Dual Interface Card for Chase Card Services


Feature: Metal Cards

Winner: ICK International Inc. for the Crypterium Card for UAB Walletto

Finalist: Wuhan Tianyu Information Industry Co., LTD for the Shining Star Shows Peace and Tranquility for Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Finalist: CompoSecure L.L.C. for the YAP Mastercard for YAP/IDEMIA


Feature: Environmentally Friendly Cards

Winner: Goldpac Limited for the 21 SR Kit Love Coffee Paper Card for Starbucks

Winner: CPI Card Group for the US Bank Turtle ROBP Ocean Bound Material Card for US Bank

Winner: CompoSecure L.L.C. for the Postbank Mastercard Universe Metal Card for Postbank/IDEMIA

Winner: Giesecke+Devrient Mobile Security GmbH for the Convego® Natural Payment PLA Card for HypoVereinsbank


Personalization & Fulfillment Product, Service or Project

Winner: Giesecke+Devrient (China) Technologies Co., Ltd. for the China Everbright Bank Traditional Chinese Medicine Diamond Credit Card Gift Set for China Everbright Bank

Finalist: Placard Pty Ltd for their Virgin Money Package for Virgin Money Australia

Finalist: Burgopak for the Knab Package for Knab


Best Supplier/Vendor New Product, Service or Innovation

Winner: Liveo Research Srl for their ISO ID1 Card with Antimicrobial Overlay Protection

Finalist: Giesecke+Devrient (China) Technologies Co., Ltd. for their Intellectual-Property Resource Services

Finalist: D&K Group for their Endura Overlams


Congratulations to the 2021 Élan Awards of Excellence winners.

The 2022 Élan Awards competition will open in January and winners will be announced in-person at ICMA’s 2022 Card Manufacturing & Personalization EXPO from May 15-18 at the Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, Florida.

To learn more about submitting an entry into next year’s competition, visit or email Show us your very best!