Us1 has extensive experience applying variable data to cards. Variable data varies for each card making it unique - it “personalizes” each card. Examples of variable data include PIN codes, serial numbers or names and account numbers. Us1 has developed extensive security, approval and quality control procedures to ensure that personalization is accurate and
secure. We also offer personalization of cards to the printing
trade on a contract basis.
Ink Jet: Ink Jet is the most cost effective method of applying variable data to cards at Us1. Ink Jet is more cost effective than other methods of personalization because it is faster and has less expensive consumables. Ink Jet is not limited to credit card sized cards which is a limitation of thermal printing and Embossing and can be applied to cards of any thickness or material. It is the most popular personalization process at Us1. See Ink Jet Data Specifications for submission information.
Thermal Printing: Thermal Printing uses a resin/wax thermal ribbon to prints variable data on the card. Since thermal printing speeds are relatively slow and consumables are relatively expensive, it is more expensive than Ink Jet and Embossing. One cannot thermal print over ink or UV varnish so if it is required to thermal print over a printed image, the card must be laminated PVC. Thermal Printing or Embossing is necessary if data must be printed in conjunction with an encoded magnetic stripe. Thermal Printing is also necessary for applications requiring high-resolution printing such as condensed barcodes.
Embossing: Embossing is the method of applying variable data by using heat to raise alpha - numeric characters so that the characters stand in relief of the card surface. The characters are commonly topped with foil. Embossing is a method commonly used to apply names and account numbers on credit cards. Since the consumables are less costly than Thermal Printing, it is more cost effective. Embossed characters can be applied to cards in conjunction with magnetic stripe encoding. However characters are limited to alphanumeric so images such as barcodes are impossible to Emboss.