Essex based Thames Card Technology has worked in partnership with Tesco to produce the UK’s first contactless loyalty cards. Thames has now completed the personalisation, processing and issuance of 750,000 card packs per week over the course of the contactless loyalty card rollout for Tesco. The project with Tesco increases security and value for customers and gives Tesco greater brand recognition and actionable data.
Technology from the payments industry is now being used by leading schemes such as Tesco Clubcard. Contactless cards have made a huge impact on consumers because of their convenience and simplicity and now loyalty cards are catching up. Combining contactless with magnetic stripe and barcodes on cards gives customers three ways to interact at the point of sale, improves data security and speeds up the process.
“Tesco Clubcard is one of the most uniquely helpful things we do and it’s our way of saying thank you to our customers for shopping with us. We’ve listened to customers and we’re delighted to have made Clubcard even simpler and easier to use by working in partnership with Thames to introduce a brand new contactless card.”
Simon Pepperdine, Tesco Clubcard Project Manager
Strategic partner of choice
Thames Card Technology is one of the UK’s largest plastic card manufacturers supplying many blue chip customers across industries including financial services, retail, ID and telecoms, and delivering its product globally to more than 60 countries. Operating from a single secure site in Essex Thames has over 20 years’ experience in manufacturing, personalising and distributing plastic cards.
Thames has also manufactured, personalised and encapsulated the companion keyfob for Tesco’s contactless loyalty card. Thames’ investment in state of the art equipment has enabled it to personalise the magnetic stripe, contactless chip and barcode in one pass. This maximises efficiency and has allowed Thames to react quickly to Tesco’s needs.
“This project is a milestone for Thames, Tesco and UK loyalty. Contactless payments are proving to be a huge hit with consumers so it’s exciting to apply its security and convenience to loyalty. The brief required a number of technologies and design innovations to come together in a short time for an extremely large, high-profile launch. As the strategic partner of choice for UK loyalty cards, we put our team to work on getting the new colour for the card core just right and brought in a suite of new machinery. Millions of Tesco Clubcards have now been issued from our secure bureau.”
Paul Underwood, Managing Director, Thames Card Technology
Investing in eco-friendly card material
The Tesco project follows an announcement from Thames last month when the company signed an exclusive deal with Nu: Agencies, part of the Nuco International group, to bring its environmentally-friendly card material to the UK. The Nu: eCard is a ‘green’ alternative to PVC, combining chalk with low levels of high-density polyethylene to create a card with performance and costs to rival traditional plastics, without the environmental impact.
Thames Card Technology is the only card producer in the UK able to use the Nu: eCard material, which has already been used to manufacture tens of millions of cards in the U.S. Thames will also offer the material to customers in mainland Europe.
“This partnership with Thames Card Technology is further confirmation that our decision to invest in developing Nu: eCard was the right one. This product is gaining global momentum through our partners both sides of the Atlantic and it won’t be long now until consumers across Europe also have greener cards in their pockets.”
Keith Matthews, Managing Director, Nuco International Ltd
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Thames Card Technology