10 Feb


Innovation is in our DNA

Written By Adam Lowe

An inventor and entrepreneur envisioned and helped build CompoSecure.

John Herslow saw an opportunity to enhance the growing ID market, creating one of the first long-life composite prelaminates, which were ultimately deployed in drivers licenses across the US. Under John’s technical leadership, the company grew into largescale production of IDs and ID components using these novel materials and constructions.

From this materials science expertise, CompoSecure evolved to become a market leader in the manufacture of non-traditional, premium payment cards. The company is credited with many firsts in the industry. CompoSecure created one of the first metal cards, the first EMV chip in a metal credit card, and the first dual-interface (contactless) metal card, an engineering feat. John Herslow’s inventive and entrepreneurial spirit was passed down to his daughter who today serves as executive chairman of the company, Michele Logan, who inspires every employee with CompoSecure to “do the impossible.”

As the new Chief Innovation Officer, I too am fascinated by the future, and products poised to disrupt the marketplace. Here are a few of the technological innovations we expect to see as more electronic functionalities are integrated into payment cards:

IOT – Everything is smart now. Products will only become more connected, enhancing the personalized experience between the product and the user. This experience requires a unique and secure identity. Cards have an advantage in this space as consumers are comfortable with cards as payment and identity form factors. The interoperability of cards with a varity of devices from cars to smartphone based payment devices provides a common touchpoint for consumers. This familiarity and ease of use poises cards, including those supplemented with electronics, to be the ideal credential long into the future.

Biometrics – Providing biological markers as an identifier is a hot topic right now as data security and breaches raise the stakes on template exposure, such as a person’s iris, fingerprint or face. The convenience and security makes biometrics an appealing choice that is already winning out over privacy concerns. Fingerprint sensors are already deployed on smartphones, computers and are being piloted in smartcards. Biometric smartcards are expected to particularly take hold in Europe where the PSD2 mandate requires more stringent payment authentication standards.

Electronic Cards – With the surge in card not present (CNP) purchases being driven by the ever-growing number of e-commerce transactions, new technologies are stepping in to address fraud. Several banks are starting to use a dynamic CVV card, which is a perfect example of this type of solution. Dynamic CVV converts the 3-digit code from a static number printed on the back of the card to one on a tiny e-ink screen that is periodically refreshed. A purchaser must physically possess the card in order to have all of the necessary information to make an online purchase, thwarting online fraudsters. Other technology options for financial institutions to consider include cards with power sources capable of feeding functions such as Bluetooth or interactive screens.

There is no single solution when it comes to payment technology. For example, an excellent solution for Europe may not be optimal for the United States. Our CompoSecure R&D team is continually working on innovation through trying to invent and evaluate a variety of technologies to support the future needs of our clients across the globe. We are in a search “to do the impossible.”

Do the Impossible