By Wei Jin Lee, Regional Director for Secure Issuance, APAC, HID Global

It is estimated that more than 90 percent of photo ID card inspections are undertaken visually and in the field. In fact, visual inspections are often the first and primary form of document investigation and validation. Any decisions to use a secondary inspection criterion are often based on the outcome of the visual inspection. For this reason, good badge design and the selection of the right custom ID card printing solution is so important. These components are crucial in creating visually secure credentials that incorporate elements that can be scrutinised and validated during the initial inspection.

The speed, cost-effectiveness, convenience and simplicity of visual inspections have made them particularly popular in government applications including national ID cards, permit and enforcement documents, and federal ID credentials. These cards, documents and credentials must be clearly authentic and genuine, so the importance of having a well-designed visual security solution cannot be overstated.

Typical visual security features include holographic over-laminates and card pre-printing. Holographic over-laminates may include numerous overt, covert and forensic features, while pre-printing options range from holograms and various types of security printing to special inks, relief structures, laser images, optical variable ink (OVI), hidden features, and randomised UV markings. There are dozens of visual security combinations that can be considered, and HID Global and its partners are available to help customers make the right choices for their requirements.

It’s important to note that most of the visual security solutions that are offered today are one-size-fits-all, meaning they are exactly the same on every single document. While this is still a very effective solution, an additional level of defense can be applied by utilising card printing features including personalising IDs with on-card visual security options. The ID designs can now play a role in the first line defense against counterfeiting by taking visual security features and customising them to each unique card holder or user.

HID Global delivers this capability to its customers with its One-2-One™ custom card printing offerings, which make visual security solutions unique to each individual and their credential. These One-2-One solutions can be created on the company’s vanGO® cards which are stamped with a unique and specialised foil developed by HID Global. In addition, numerous One-2-One visual security elements can be placed onto the cards’ foil including a picture of the card holder, a unique identification number, or even a combination of items, such as a unique ID plus the organisation’s logo, for example. The alternative One-2-One option of laser engraving offers the advantage of being able to place images either at the surface or beneath the surface of the ID card, and supports more detailed images as well as the ability to create microtext lettering. The personalisation of these One-2-One solutions are done by using available modules that can be attached to the HID FARGO® HDP8500 industrial ID card printer and encoder. The HDP8500LW laser writing module is used for creating the unique personalisation of the foil on vanGO cards while the HDP8500LE laser engraver module can be used to apply numerous types of laser engraving options onto cards made of polycarbonate or laserable PVC materials.

As with other forms of security, visual security solutions take time to develop and implement, so plan ahead. Remember that visual security is the first line of defense against threats to people, property, assets, information and infrastructure. Be sure to implement visual security as part of a well-developed and managed, multi-level security solution. And consider One-2-One card personalisation solutions that are easy to validate and deliver increased counterfeit resistance

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