Design Developments in the Secure Payment Cards Industry

Banks are increasingly using payment cards as a marketing tool to communicate with their customers and show that they are at the forefront of innovation. This can drive customer preference on one card. As such, banks seek to provide their customers with aesthetically pleasing credit card products that generate top-of-wallet behavior in addition to security.

Giesecke+Devrient (G+D), CompoSecure LLC and Hengbao Co. Ltd. are dominating the secure payment cards industry by designing visually appealing and unique cards, according to the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA). The leading global card association recently recognized them with a 2023 Élan Award in the Secure Payment Cards category. Open to members only,the Élan Awards represent companies that are innovating and leading the global transaction card industry.

The Secure Payment Cards category includes financial, retail or gas/petrol branded cards from secure issuing organizations like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, UnionPay or retailers like Macy’s, WalMart or gas/petrol companies like Shell, Exxon and BP. The card can be magnetic stripe and/or smart chip with debit, credit or prepaid as long as it bears the branding logo of a recognized secure issuer.

Secure Payment Cards

The Élan Award-winners in the Secure Payment Cards category are:

G+D (Winner)

G+D manufactured the Agricultural Bank of China Year of the Rabbit Credit Card (Golden Rabbit Welcomes the New Year) for Agricultural Bank of China. The lively rabbit has come to represent the smart and agile jade rabbit from the Chinese zodiac. As a harbinger of prosperity and good fortune, the adorable jade rabbit rides the auspicious clouds and looks out toward a better future.

With precision gilding, G+D created the plum-red pattern on the rabbit’s forehead to bring life and vitality to the rabbit. The rabbit’s body is generated using dual-color metal, which has been meticulously polished to bring out the shine. The red color, a favorite in China, represents the enthusiasm to charge toward the sea of stars. It’s also the whole-hearted devotion and the shared pride of all Chinese people. Set against the dazzling silver gilding, the auspicious clouds appear fluid and graceful and reflect the ingenious craftsmanship.

CompoSecure LLC (Finalist)

CompoSecure LLC manufactured the VAKIFABK RESERVE card for Vakifbank. Vakifbank challenged its engravers with this design. By changing its programs, the drill bits and refining the process, CompoSecure was able to “fine tune” the engraving to expose the metal with intricate detail. The company added the unique brushing technique they developed. CompoSecure worked with a personalization partner, who contributed to the design.

Hengbao Co. Ltd. (Finalist)

Hengbao Co. Ltd. manufactured the Talent Pass Card for Bank of Ganzhou. In order to invite more outstanding talents to settle down in Ganzhou and make contributions to Ganzhou’s developments, Ganzhou government and Bank of Ganzhou launched the Ganzhou Talent Card. The Ganzhou Talent Logo is combined with leaves, as the banyan tree is artistically presented. This denotes that elite talents will settle down and put down roots in Ganzhou. It also implies that they will make use of their knowledge, talent, fearlessness and perseverance to contribute to the city.

The card face is mainly colored in black. Follwing is the process description:

  • The card surface adopts colorful conch craft.
  • The bank and UnionPay logo use frosted vertical gold craft.
  • Green leaves utilize customized embossing process.
  • Golden lines use vertical gold craft.

A Renowned Showcase for the World’s Best Cards and Technology

The ICMA Élan Awards of Excellence are open to ICMA members only. The 2024 Élan Awards will be presented at the ICMA Card Manufacturing and Personalization EXPO, which will take place from May 13-16, 2024 in Orlando, Florida.

Learn more about the other benefits of an ICMA membership.