Category: Innovation

The Inter-connectivity of Business

We are all finding new ways to adapt and work together to be successful in the COVID-19 world. There has always been an interdependence we share with our clients, employees, vendors, and the local community. The relationships with these entities have been tested and forever changed by the challenge we are facing together. Whether it be the favorite lunch place now struggling to find its footing, a distributor that went dark leaving supply chain confusion, or seeing the tired face of a neighbor who works in healthcare, we are all being faced with a new reality.

For the first ten years at CompoSecure, we were a very small business and we know the challenges that come as a company strives to maintain its core values and also grow. We had to be scrappy, innovate and adapt to meet new opportunities that would help guide us through challenges and into the future. We are now seeing these qualities to transform and rise to the occasion in our local small businesses today.  Farmers in the area are incorporating technology to distribute their products. Local restaurants are being creative with merchandise and delivery methods, pivoting to a model they had never foreseen entering. Other businesses are re-tooling to produce much needed personal protection equipment (PPE) and ventilators.

At CompoSecure, we have always actively supported the small business community and non-profit organizations around us. Now, more than ever, we see the importance of hiring New Jersey-based vendors, from cleaning services to food delivery, to help these businesses withstand the current crisis. Philanthropy is in the CompoSecure DNA, and we are deepening our relationships with local organizations that provide critical services for residents, such as The Arc of Somerset, Elijah’s Promise, Roots & Wings, and The Center For Great Expectations.

Businesses of all sizes need to remember that their most important asset is their people. CompoSecure has looked to its employees with admiration as they have independently stepped up and created initiatives to help the community. One of the most recent examples of this was an employee who started a crowdfunding initiative to raise money to support first responders called “Feed the Healer.” Including a CompoSecure contribution, he raised more than $5,000 and fed 800+ healthcare workers and law enforcement officers. His efforts helped our heroes on the frontline, as well as supported a local caterer who has been struggling since the quarantine shutdown.

Not only do we support our employees’ causes, but we also do everything in our power to show them our appreciation by investing in their safety. We do this by providing personal protective equipment and putting aggressive safety and cleaning protocols in place.  We consistently provide transparent communication with our employees on a regular basis. But we can’t just “talk shop.” We have to account for our employees’ health and wellness. We keep our team strong by reinforcing the human ties and connection, including weekly Zoom lunches, 1:1 check-ins and an “open inbox” policy. These interpersonal relationships are what helps us care for one another, work together, and strengthen our own community.

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a lot of fear, but we have also seen that it has brought out the best in people. CompoSecure is grateful for the strong collaboration with our employees, partners and community, who have all risen to meet the challenges that we are facing today.

This global pandemic has our global company looking inward to our employees and to those in our community who need help.  It has me personally reflecting on the interdependence we have on each other as a business, but also on an individual level.  It’s important to recognize that we need to look outside of ourselves to collectively guide us through this challenging time.  We will get through it, separately but ultimately together.

To learn more about our involvement in the community, check out our social media channels for more details.  #CompoCares

Innovation is in our DNA

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.”