Inserters, Card Embossers, Sorters, Folders, Inkjets, Tabbers and more
Text Me
Call Me

Mailing Industry Articles

Advanced Systems provides Monthly Mailing Industry Articles. These articles pertain to the mailing industry's machinery and software. You are welcome to present an article on this subject matter for publication. Send your articles to "Ken Sweptston".
Articles are processed before publishing.

The Current & Future Roll of Embossed Plastic Cards for Marketing Products and Services
By Ken Swepston

Plastic Card Embossing Systems
 As you may know, the use of plastic embossed cards for making credit transactions started more than fifty years ago. Do you remember getting your first card in the mail? It was like having a revolving account that gave you immediate approval to purchase just about anything you desired. Back then, pulling out your card to pay for dinner seemed quite glamorous and impressive to all those seated with you.

  Today the use of personalized plastic cards has become the norm for making most of our financial transactions. Not only that, but this simple plastic card, with all of its glitz and glamour, has also become a status symbol of value. Such perceived value associated with the use of a plastic card for making transactions has now been turned into a massive opportunity for marketing just about every product and service imaginable.
  The use of plastic embossed credit and debit cards, with the raised alpha and numeric characters, with black, gold, silver or other color topping, for making credit transactions certainly is a quick and easy way of making a purchase.
 Unlike writing checks or using cash, using our Visa, Master, American Express, Discover or Carbon Paper Type Credit Card Machine
direct merchant cards, allows all of us to make many more purchases than our bank accounts might sometimes allow for.  I think one of the big reasons that the embossed credit card became so popular was that instead of having to write down customer account numbers, this embossed plastic credit card allowed merchants to use carbon copy paper to quickly make an impression of the customer’s name, account number, and other pertinent data. At the time, it truly was a very efficient process.
 However it did have some draw backs. To verify a credit card, you had to call the card in to get clearance that the customers’ account was in good standing. Plus, they also had to turn in all of the paper transactions to the credit card company for payment.   Soon technology came to the rescue in solving this problem through the development of the magnetic stripe. When applied to the back of your cards, it could capture all your account data with one swipe through a reader. With the introduction of this magnetic stripe and electronic processing terminals, you could now complete a purchase, alone with account transactions, post charges and payments instantly.   This was a huge advancement and those of us who lived through that time know, full well, the revolutionary impact it had as we quickly moved from paper transactions to the world of electronic communications.   Not long after these advancements came about, the use of plastic cards, that emulate a Visa, Master, Dinners Club Credit Cards, started being used as an effective means for building value for any product or service associated with it.
Gold Credit Card Man Today that marketing strategy continues to be aggressively expanded into more and more marketing sectors. The use of plastic cards, that incorporate a credit card appearance, in marketing through the mail, has proven its value in getting your mail piece opened and increasing the sense of value for its content.
 We have all been witness to the impact that personalized, as well as generic plastic gift cards have had on increasing sales and value for brand names. Even in miniature discount key tags, plastic cards have worked to increase sales and brand value. So as long as plastic cards continue to be a major vehicle for making financial transactions, there is every reason to suspect that applying this associated value of the plastic card will continue to be an effective tool in the marketing of an array of products and services. You may be thinking, while this is nice to know, how does this relate to me and my business or anyone in the print/mail industry?
 Well, millions of these promotional/service cards are being mailed out all the time and those of us with the capabilities for emboss and print, these personalized cards can secure a lot more work from our current, and potential customers in the future. For those of you who do not have plastic card production as part of your portfolio of services, you may be saying all this is true, but who can afford to invest in such specialized equipment? While it is true that the new high speed card production systems can be quite expensive, it is also true that reconditioned plastic card production systems can be very affordable. Great Ideas in Technology If you are looking into offering plastic card services, there are a number of manufactures to choose from, like NBS, Datacard and CIM, that have produced a variety of systems to meet specific job requirements. Securing a reconditioned one that will meet your goals, from a reliable used equipment dealer, can be a very good investment and greatly expand your capabilities in securing more business. You can buy affordable reconditioned heavy duty table top and floor model systems that can produce personalize plastic cards at rates of 400 to 1,100 per hour. They can be set up to personalize cards through embossed & color tip alpha/numeric characters, graphic printing of front and back sides as well as encoding all of this information through a magnetic stripe.
Ultra Graphix 800  For tabletop systems, nothing can beat the performance and durability of the Datacard 450. It can emboss and color tip the front of a plastic card while at the same time encoding the magnetic stripe on the back. Pulling the information from your data base file, this Datacard 450 can produce these cards at a rate of 400 plus cards per hour. For jobs that require personalized printing and graphics, nothing beats Datacard’s heavy duty Utra Grafix 800. It can be set up for front or backside printing as well as magnetic encoding. With a production rate of 1000 per hour, you have the ability, with just one of these tabletop systems, to take on many different high volume production jobs.
 For high volume production needs and additional requirements like activation labeling, card carrier affixing & mailing, etc., Datacard’s 7000/9000, would be ideal.
The Datacard 7000/9000 is a heavy duty system that has been the workhorse for the 24/7 production needs of banks and other financial institutions. It was designed as a modular system to allow you to add on modules for embossing, graphic printing, magnetic encoding and many others as needed to meet production requirements. Datacard 9000 Based on the module configurations, the Datacard 7000/9000 can produce in access of 1100 per hour. In addition, by adding the in line Ultraform Module, you can also address a carrier, affix up to four cards to it, then fold and stack for insertion into your mailing envelope.   Also, if you are looking for a system for affixing and mailing out mass promotional discount cards or other promotional items you can do so with reconditioned card affixing systems manufactured by companies like Ga-Vehren, Sure Feed or other makers of high speed systems. Great Ideas in Technology
 As we move forward in our technical capabilities in electronic processing, the need for a plastic card itself for making electronic transactions is coming into question. Beyond the use of a smart card for transmitting information by way of a embedded chip sending a radio signal to the terminal, the industry is now moving toward transmitting all of our credit card information through our cell phones. Then, like with a smart card, you can just waive your phone or by just be in the proximity of the merchant’s terminal to make your electronic transactions. The actual technology for this already exists and is being used in a number of countries outside the US. If all of this new technology makes you nervous, you are not alone. But wait it gets even better. They say that in the not so distant future, it is predicted that the next technological move in transmitting financial and personal information, will be through a chip embedded under the skin of our wrists.
   After that, there may even come a time when transactions through facial recognition may be a possibility. Plus some time in the distant future, they say we may even have the ability to perform transactions through our brain waves. Now, I’m sure that is a scary thought for even the most daring of us sci-fi fans.


Of course all of this will take time; time for such new technology to be put in place, as well as time for consumers to accept and move to these new card-less forms of transmitting information. Not to mention, trying to get any such technology, and the regulations that would come with it, through the grid lock we are now seeing in Washington. There is no doubt that technology has been moving rapidly in this new age we live in. However, I don’t see the use of marketing through plastic cards losing its value anytime soon. In fact I don’t see anything that will be able to replace the use and flexibility found in using plastic cards for marketing the array of products and services available to us today. So you can rest assured that the demand for marketing through plastic cards is not going away and that the business opportunities are there for all those wanting to take advantage of it.

Advanced Systems Rebuilt or Refurbished Mailing Equipment!

Offering Plastic Card Embossing Machines and Accessories

We Sell Reconditioned Plastic Card Embossing Machines & Modules

 Advanced Systems is a provider of new and used plastic card embossing machines. Choose either tabletop or a high production model with the modules to accommodate any job requirements. It will be delivered to you ready for your mailshop production floor.

Check Out Our Plastic Card Embossing Machine Listings,

Or Read More about Reconditioned Plastic Card Embossing Machines.

Touch HERETo Call Me.

Mailing Industry Articles

 Every Month, Advanced Systems publishes an article pertaining to the direct mail and postal industries. Find out what direct mailers are talking about. See who and what's in the news, what technologies are advancing in the industry and keep up with the latest trends. Read Mailing Industry Articles.
Do you have an idea or opinion on anything direct mail? Send us your article.
If your article meets the Article Publishing Guidelines, Advanced Systems will share it with our readers.

Subscribe To Our Monthly Newsletter