Morpho pursues ‘glocal’ strategy for bank cards

From Zelenograd in Russia to Cali in Colombia, Morpho's business of manufacturing and personalizing[1] bank cards pursues a global strategy incorporating a local service to meet clients' growing needs for quick turnaround times. [1] An operation that consists of putting user data in the chip.

The new Morpho competence center in Cali immediately took its place in the Group's worldwide network of manufacturing and personalizing bank cards. "When we acquired the bank card business from the Colombian company Carvajal in 2011, we quickly confirmed that they had real expertise in secure printing on plastic," explained Franck Hérault, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing & Supply Chain, e-Documents Division, Morpho. "Since we were pursuing a policy of standardizing processes across our various sites in order to improve efficiency, we thought it best to share their best practices."

This latest acquisition also highlights Morpho's desire to strengthen its position in the banking sector, especially in emerging countries. "The transition from magnetic strip cards to EMV[[EMV (Europay, MasterCard and VISA) is widely becoming the global standard in the migration from magnetic stripe cards to chip-based smart cards. EMV is an interoperability standard developed by the three financial institutions to ensure that all Europay, MasterCard, and VISA branded smart cards and all smart card-reading POS terminals and ATMs work together to deliver the highest level of security.]] chip cards has only just begun in emerging countries, whereas in Europe almost everyone has one. Demand is therefore very high," said Franck Hérault. "This is also true for the United States, where we are about to increase our presence."

From manufacture to delivery
"Quick turnaround times are vital in the banking sector, since users expect a new card to arrive within 48 hours of submitting their request. This explains why Morpho adopted a 'glocal' strategy, combining global operations and a local presence," said Franck Hérault. While module assembly[2] remains centralized in Flintbek, Germany, cards are manufactured and customized locally. One site in Brazil and another in Colombia cover Latin American, one site in Germany covers Europe, another Russia, a site in Kuala Lumpur covers the Pacific, and finally a site in Noidda in India covers Asia. The fact that bank cards are also considered to be secure items means that they must be transported securely. Geographic proximity helps to cut this cost.

At the client's request, Morpho has also begun mailing the cards out. This is a clear win-win situation insofar as the banks reduce their stocks and Morpho gets closer to the end-client – the user.

"Our strong local presence, combined with the technological credibility that comes with being part of the Safran group, means we were able to reassure our clients that we could help them move forward," said Franck Hérault. "We will be continuing along this path by opening up new customization centers. There are already ."

[1] EMV (Europay, MasterCard and VISA) is widely becoming the global standard in the migration from magnetic stripe cards to chip-based smart cards. EMV is an interoperability standard developed by the three financial institutions to ensure that all Europay, MasterCard, and VISA branded smart cards and all smart card-reading POS terminals and ATMs work together to deliver the highest level of security.
[2] An operation to connect the microprocessor chip to the gold square on the front of the card, allowing the chip to connect to the reader.