ICMA EXPO Presenters to Reveal Latest Card Manufacturing and Design Trends

The global cards market size is expected to grow from $251.33 billion in 2021 to $275.5 billion in 2022, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6%. In 2026, the global card market size is expected to grow to $399.15 billion at a CAGR of 9.7%. The rising demand for credit cards is expected to fuel the growth of the cards market in the forecast period.

Despite digitalization taking hold across the world, physical cards continue to play a key role in our daily lives and will for many years to come, as they are continuously being reimagined to meet issuer and consumer needs. Thus, the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA), the leading global card association for card manufacturers and personalizers, selected Cards Reimagined as the 2022 ICMA EXPO theme. This in-person event is scheduled for May 15-18 at the Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, Florida.

“We’re pleased to meet in-person again, as ICMA had to postpone its EXPO for the past two years due to the pandemic,” said Jeffrey Barnhart, ICMA founder and executive director. “Nothing compares to in-person networking. The EXPO isn’t just the world’s only card-focused event, it’s our place to unite and strategize successful outcomes for all of our card industry initiatives and endeavors. It will offer a great deal of networking opportunities and a comprehensive agenda, with topics centered around the theme.”

Following are ICMA EXPO presenters and topics:

  • Megan Anthony Bogard, design manager of CPI Card Group, will present Reinventing Card Design Using Traditional Materials. CPI is a payment technology company and provider of credit, debit and prepaid solutions.

“I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone at the ICMA EXPO,” said Bogard. “During my presentation, I’m excited to share ideas about reinventing the look and feel of the card using commonly stocked materials and treatments in uncommon ways.”

The presentation will open with the importance of gathering the materials needed to manufacture, before finalizing the card design. Readily available core materials serve as the foundation of the design phase, along with ideas for selecting treatments to enhance the core and the design elements in unison. It also will incorporate ways to differentiate the visual aesthetic of the card using elements that are already integrated into traditional card manufacturing, changing the way the end user sees the card, while maintaining full functionality of the card product.

  • Chris Burket, senior product marketing engineer of TDK Corporation, will present The 3 Ms: Metal, Magnetics and Modules. TDK provides electronic solutions for the “smart society.”

“My presentation will address some of the new challenges encountered by card manufacturers as they migrate into the metal card space,” confirmed Burket. “I’m excited to be presenting potential solutions to card manufacturers, which will improve performance related to the contactless communication range. Also, to show how leading-edge magnetic materials and unique module technology can help resolve other challenges such as overall card thickness.”

Today’s credit cards are in a phase of continued migration from all plastic to metal-plastic hybrids or full metal jacket smart cards. With an outer surface metal configuration, there are a number of new challenges encountered by the card maker.

Some of the key challenges include:

1) Performance impact to the contactless communication range

2) Addition of newly required materials into the card environment (e.g., magnetics)

3) Total metal card thickness vs. increased card weights.

This presentation will focus on these issues, along with some others, and will offer potential solutions to the “challenges” through state-of-the-art magnetic materials. In addition, a unique antenna module technology also will be introduced, which will assist the card maker by reducing the layer count and card thickness, minimize variables in the manufacturing process, and enable more consistent electrical parameters.

  • Thomas Decker, vice president of product marketing, finance, Linxens, will present Eco-Friendly Materials for Card Bodies: An Overview and Status Update. Sustainable materials for cards bodies have become a sustainable trend over the past several years. In 2022, more than 100 million payment cards, manufactured from non-first-use PVC, are expected be issued. In 2025, this number is predicted to grow to 25% of the global payment card market, with the vast majority likely not to rely on the use of PVC at all anymore. This presentation will give an overview of the most common materials to be considered, their advantages and disadvantages as well as the challenges with them. It will also provide an outlook on trends as well as industry initiatives and certifications. While this presentation will focus on the payment card industry, it may serve as a guidance for other card segments as well.
  • Michael Dorner, owner and CEO, Varisucard, will present Blockchain, NFT & Phygitals in the Card Industry: A Game Changer? Most people know what a blockchain is by now. But what are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and phygitals and how can these new technologies generate billions in revenue? This presentation will review how the card industry can profit from these new technologies and introduce new ways of promoting cards and adding value to the product.
  • János Friss, head of travel document business unit of Jura JSP GmbH, will present Why Physical Documents Still Exist: Security by Portrait and Data. Jura is a solution provider for the high security prepress market, as well as developer for the Jura Security Design Software. Friss will discuss the trend toward the proliferation digital credentials, carrying biographic information of the document holder and enabling up-to-date electronic reading and verification before justifying the need for physical (printed) documents. Friss will share scenarios where these physical documents are still unavoidable and give clear explanations of security solutions, which meet the requirements of digital age. He also will show the reading/verification/authentication of physical documents with various devices, including smartphones.
  • Patrice Meilland, chief strategy and product officer at Zwipe, will present The Time is Right for Biometric Payment Cards. Zwipe is pioneering next-generation biometric card and wearables technology for payment and physical and logistical access control and identification solutions. This presentation will discuss biometric cards as well as review the consumer, issuer and manufacturer views of these types of cards. “Looking forward to meeting with all in the industry again at the ICMA EXPO, the ideal conference to network, understand the trends of the market and create unique business opportunities,” Meilland said.
  • Fabio Romano, marketing director of STMicroelectronics, will present Biometric System-on-Card. Romano will talk about a smartcard containing a biometric sensor for self-authentication, enrollment, template storage and matching within the card. This is a completely battery-less solution with energy harvesting and power domain management. “I look forward to presenting Biometric System-on-Card at the ICMA EXPO,” said Romano. “This new payment technology brings cardholders an unmatched and affordable user experience. Biometric cards are an innovative way to make payments more secure and more convenient, without changing payment infrastructures.”
  • Karl Singer, president/CEO, D&K Group Inc., will present Eliminating Delamination. Delamination (de-lam) is an age-old problem in the thermal lamination industry, especially for cards and other products requiring long-term performance or outdoor durability. Many cards laminated with thermal films fall apart after being exposed to water or cleaning solutions. Additional wear and tear also cause de-lam over time. Thermal polyester laminating films are typically manufactured with a primer layer between the base PET film and adhesive. This primer layer anchors the adhesive to the film but also creates a weak point where separation, or de-lam, occurs. By modifying the polyester surface and eliminating the primer layer, thermal films become impossible to de-lam, even when exposed to water, solvents or physical abuse. This session covers new manufacturing technologies and processes that permanently eliminate de-lam in cards and ID products.
  • Denise Stewart, senior product manager of Entrust, will present Modern Payment Card Possibilities. Stewart said the future of the payment card is here. The ability to personalize and design cards with flat personalization (in any orientation, on either side of the card) has opened the door for unique card differentiation. The increasing evolution of fintechs and the shift modern banks are taking toward digital is challenging the card market to be more innovative and agile. She will walk EXPO attendees through a use case, where a card portfolio manager works with her bureau to choose the technologies that best support her new card and carrier designs.
  • Kelsey Tweedly, marketing manager, ICMA, will present How to Capitalize on ICMA’s Marketing Efforts to Benefit Your Company. Learn all that ICMA does from a marketing perspective and how your company can leverage these efforts to increase visibility among your customers and prospects and enhance your overall industry exposure. Tweedly will review social media and digital marketing strategies that can help you grow your network. She will also explain how to optimize participation in ICMA marketing programs to effectively meet your goals. Showing and explaining what ICMA does in conjunction with linking our marketing efforts together will provide better results for everyone involved and the global card industry at large.
  • Judy Vigiletti, vice president, brand strategy & innovation, integrated marketing & communications, Mastercard, and Kathleen Tobin, global enterprise strategic alliance executive, IDEMIA, will present Building on a Promise of Financial Inclusion and discuss how Mastercard’s new Touch Card builds upon a current design standard by introducing a system of notches built into the side of the card, allowing consumers to use the right card, the right way, using touch alone. Vetted and endorsed by The Royal National Institute of Blind People in the U.K. and VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired in the United States, the card was co-designed by IDEMIA.
  • Thomas Weiss, CEO of Authentic Vision will present Solutions for Card Issuers to Improve Security and Enhance the Cardholder Customer Experience. The presentation will include information about NFTs and technology used to securely bridge the physical and digital world along with more details/examples. This session is for secure card manufacturers who are seeking to enhance their security offering and for non-secure card manufacturers who would like to easily add secure and unique experiences for cardholders.

To learn more about the latest trends in the global card industry, register to attend the ICMA EXPO.

Industry Insider Insights and Glimpse into Global Card Trends

For more than 30 years, ICMA has represented the interests of the card manufacturing industry—which includes manufacturers, personalizers, issuers and suppliers—as its leading global association.

Throughout the year, ICMA members have the opportunity to share insights and knowledge by giving presentations during ICMA webcasts and events. ICMA offers regular educational opportunities, including virtual ACE-Commercial training, which provides sales, marketing, customer service and other key personnel at ICMA member companies with the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of card manufacturing.

Learn more about the benefits of an ICMA membership.