Perfect Plastic Printing, a St. Charles, Ill. card producer, has rolled out what it calls the first full-face foil PVC card certified by Visa Inc. for contactless payment transactions. More than a year in development, Perfect Plastic’s new card enables card issuers to provide payment cards with the same aesthetic appeal of foil as traditional cards. The new product is based upon the MicroPass 4003 from INSIDE Contactless.
Foil cards have a metallic foil applied across the entire face of the card, offering a mirror-like reflection unattainable with printing ink alone. But getting contactless technology to work with these foil cards has been a technical challenge because the metal foil layer ordinarily blocks the radio signals contactless cards rely on to perform transactions.
“The challenge in developing this revolutionary product was to find the right balance between having enough metal content in the foil layer to provide the desired appearance but not so much that it interferes with the radio signals,” said Matt Smoczynski, vice president of marketing for Perfect Plastic. “We worked closely with INSIDE Contactless to create this breakthrough, designing a solution and developing the technologies required to produce a contactless foil card that meets the required industry certifications.”
The foil cards are manufactured using a specially designed inlay based upon INSIDE’s MicroPass contactless payment platform which employs a new antenna design specifically tuned to the foil card.
“Today’s announcement represents a milestone in the maturity of the contactless payment card market by providing entrée for this technology into an important market segment,” said Charles Walton, executive vice president of payments for INSIDE.