Gift cards are a fast and fun way to spread holiday cheer, celebrate a birthday, a loved one, or many other “just because” moments. However, finding your gift card has been tampered with can spoil a special day.

If you are a retailer preparing gift cards for the holiday season, you can include a first line of defense – tamper-evident packaging to prevent gift card fraud on the j-hook, helping to eliminate customer disappointment and complaints.

Fraudsters use clever tactics to uncover the card and activation data from your prepaid gift or general purpose reloadable cards – from adding stickers to cover card data to copying the control numbers from the packaging, and many others. Years of research and development by CPI have led us to develop a number of tamper-evident packaging concepts that deter and help prevent these types of before-purchase tactics.

The packaging is just as important as the gift

Sealing the sensitive data of the card inside a tightly sealed package not only blocks the data from being visible from the outside, but also creates a tamper-evident barrier, helping to prevent activation of a tampered with card. The most secure formats hide the magnetic stripe and card numbers within the card carrier. Printing the last four digits of the card number on the outside of the package, allows the store clerk to verify the card number against the card inside.

Below are just some of the packaging concepts offered by CPI, many of them patented or patent pending* that can help reduce theft:

  1. Wrap Packaging – The most economical option, this method involves affixing the card to the carrier, which is then closed and sealed with spots of glue. Although this format does not offer a full seal around the entire package perimeter, tampering with the package would be evident if the package has been opened.
  2. Ultra Secure Packaging – With this option, the card is sandwiched between two carriers coated with a heat-activated layer. This allows a full paper-to-paper or paper-to-plastic perimeter seal. Tampering or gaining access to the card between the packaging is difficult, and tampering would be visible due to the layers ripping when trying to separate the packaging.
  3. Ultra Secure Packaging with Clear Blister – This packaging option uses the Ultra Secure method described above, with the addition of a clear plastic blister within the front carrier for displaying the product.  Evidence of tampering or fraud with this secure packaging is shown since the blister is typically removed through damage to the printed surface and/or torn paper on the carrier. With the clear blister on the front, one would be able to see if card has been removed from the package.
  4. RF Sealed Packaging – The Radio Frequency (RF) - Sealing process relies on plastic-to-plastic sealing, forming a unitary structure, as opposed to paper-to-paper. The RF process melts the plastic pieces together along the entire perimeter, forming a secure bond that requires scissors or other tools to open, making it difficult to access the card inside the package.

A knowledgeable provider can really up your game

Security is an important component in the prepaid consumer’s experience.  Finding a provider that has the expertise and the ability to fulfill your needs from concept to the final secure package is essential in any prepaid payment card program.

To learn more about CPI’s prepaid packaging options, click here.

* US Pat No. 8,403,229; US Pat No.9,049,909; US Pat No.10,625,915; US Pat No.6,957,737; US Pat No.8,720,786; US Pat No.9,053,470; US Pub No. US20150344206

Peggy O'Leary headshot

Written by:

Peggy O’Leary is the VP/Head of Sales Prepaid, Personalization Solutions and Instant Issuance at CPI Card Group