Seal Your Prepaid Gift Card Program Against Fraud

October 7, 2020

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.


Standing Out Through Sustainability in Cards

September 2, 2020

According to new research commissioned by CPI Card Group and produced by Aite Group, 80% of card issuers surveyed believe that cardholders are more environmentally conscious today than they were just five years ago. This belief is supported by sales of earth-friendly products having grown over five times faster than traditional products. Sustainability-marketed products accounted for 16.6 percent of market share across thirty-six consumer packaged good product categories in 2019, up from 14.3 percent in 2013.

Surprisingly, the desire for more eco-focused products transcends the generational divide. Millennials are not the only generation passionate about environmental causes. A Nielsen study found that 72% of baby boomers also feel that companies should implement programs to improve the environment.

Financial Institutions Are Implementing or Expanding Sustainability Strategies

Sustainability strategies are becoming necessary in the payments industry.  Leading financial institutions are investing in sustainability strategies, employing dedicated executives to guide and monitor the process, and are promoting environmental sustainability on their websites as they explore ways to incorporate new practices into their operations and product offerings.   As financial institutions look to implement or expand sustainability programs to meet consumer demand, innovative solutions are emerging in the market.  Issuers can now consider payment cards made with more sustainable materials such as upcycled plastic, either recovered ocean-bound plastic or post-industrial plastic.  More environmentally friendly options are also found in card carriers and retail packaging with recycled papers.

Card and sustainability executives are working more closely together to expand or implement sustainability strategies. According to Aite’s research, card executives surveyed stated they have begun to communicate with those in charge of their institution’s sustainability team.

Card executives can further collaborate with colleagues in sustainability, helping them understand the institution’s financial products and operations to identify potential opportunities. For instance, through an understanding of the materials used in card production and packaging, the sustainability group may be able to reduce the amount of paper materials used for collateral, inserts and carriers, joined with an eco-friendlier card product that reduces first use plastic.

Sustainable Card Options are Available Now

The market is wide open in the sustainable space, and with growing demand, the introduction of viable, eco-focused payment cards, not only drives cardholders (and issuers) awareness of doing something good for the planet, it may also offer issuers a compelling differentiator. This is the perfect opportunity to convey your company’s environmental objectives with eye-catching design and imagery, while promoting messaging that resonates with today’s cardholders.

As the demand for eco-focused products rises, and the pressure to create sustainability strategies increases, financial institutions may be faced with decisions on what environmentally focused card options align with their sustainability initiatives. Communicating with sustainability executives can provide insight on the best options.  Recovered ocean-bound plastic and high upcycled content cards are excellent options to reduce first-use plastic in the payment card industry. Depending on design, issuers can reach up to 98% upcycled plastic content in cards made with post-industrial plastic.