A credit card with embedded authentication capability won two Elan awards in the 2007 competition conducted by the International Card Manufacturers Association.
The judges' choice and the technical achievement awards went to Innovative Card Technologies Inc. of Los Angeles and eMue Technologies of Melbourne, Australia, co-developers of a credit card-embedded authentication device for secure online and phone banking. The device has a 12-button keypad and embedded alphanumeric display and microprocessor that are integrated into a standard payment-card form.
The device had its consumer debut at the Cartes & IDentification 2007 digital security, smart card and identification trade show Nov. 13-15 in Paris. Several financial institutions are reviewing the authentication technology.
The card is manufactured in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and incorporates electronic components made in Taipei, Taiwan. InCard and eMue performed research and development, including use of proprietary materials, in Australia, the United States, Taiwan, Switzerland and France over 18 months.
Among other Elan award winners, Versatile Card Technology Inc. of Downers Grove, Ill., was recognized for the best secure financial card design for a business card for Scotiabank.
Plastag Corp. of Elk Grove Village, Ill., won in the best nonsecure card category with a clear-substrate PVC simulated-golf-ball card for retailer J.C. Penney Co. Inc. Plastag used tactile silk-screening and surface-printing processes to apply indentations. With its dimples, the card has the feel of a golf ball.
UV Color Inc. of Roseville, Minn., suggested an innovation to its customer and, in turn, produced the best gift card - an effective depiction of stained-glass flowers and leaves - for Target Corp. The clear-gloss PVC has two opaque placements for specific effects. The black lines were silk screened.
Plastag and UV Color merged in March under a newly formed entity, Premier Card Solutions, in Roseville.
LaserCard Corp. of Mountain View, Calif., won an Elan for best identification card design for its polycarbonate optical memory card-based LaserPass secure access system for the corporate headquarters of Tesla Motors Inc.
Americhip Inc. of Torrance, Calif., won the unique innovation award for an edge-lit gift card with a Nintendo Wii theme for Target's financial services subsidiary. The card has a PVC casing, frosted acrylic sides and eight blue light emitting diodes. An Americhip factory in Guangdong, China, manufactured the card.
The Las Vegas plant of CPI Card Group Inc. produced the people's choice winner - an ``I Love You'' card - for women's apparel retailer Victoria's Secret, a business segment of Limited Brands Inc.
ABnote Group's Leigh Mardon unit in Highett, Australia, won for the best identification idea for a badge.
The Elan awards recognize card design innovation and technical achievement in the card manufacturing industry. An independent panel of ICMA associate members, industry representatives and international journalists judged the entries. ICMA announced the winners Oct. 16 in ceremonies during its conference and expo in Coronado.