Card manufacturer and printer Nitecrest has partnered with technology company Tag Systems to develop its banking division, which is now operating under the name Tagnitecrest.
Tagnitecrest officially became operational on 1 July and will be utilising Tag’s technologies to move into the contactless card and wearables sector. Tagnitecrest will complement Nitecrest’s other departments, its telecomms, commercial and retail divisions, which will still operate under the name Nitecrest.
Nitecrest chief executive Ronnie Hart said: “On the banking side, we have been Visa- and MasterCard-certified for about 10 years. The banking market is quite a physical market but what’s happened here is basically there are now other means away from the card.
“We put this partnership together because you have a lot of other solutions. There are things that complement paper and things that complement plastic, like card emulation on mobile devices, wearables and contactless bracelets.
“Tag has been very innovative in that side of the banking sector so we decided to create this partnership with them.”
Hart also said that Nitecrest had worked with Tag, which has headquarters in Andorra and a UK office in Guildford, as a strategic partner for the past few years.
The deal was first put on the table in November 2015, but there was a period of a few months’ discussion before the new company became operational.
Hart said: “There has been a lot of back-and-forth, agreeing how the funding works, because obviously we’ve got the machinery, the kit, the expertise; and Tag is coming into our business with its technology."
The new venture will see Tag’s servers and technologies incorporated into Nitecrest’s offices in Leyland, Lancashire, and allow Tagnitecrest to offer “a full portfolio of alternative solutions to the plastic card”, along with continuing to supply to the pre-paid banking markets.
It will offer services such as instant issuance, which is when a customer can sign up to a personalised payment card in-store, and receive it on the same day from a machine that personalises it on demand.
Hart said: “Now we have announced this partnership we are seeing a lot more interest. As an independent company, we are very flexible and that’s what the market wants. Barclays aren’t going to move all their business to Tagnitecrest but we will probably open its doors to the possibility of a second supplier. That is the strategic move, we become a 10%-20% supplier.”
In March, family-run Nitecrest became the first UK company to install a Kern K91 plastic card affixing-and-inserting machine.
Its current turnover is £20m, with a targeted £2m increase just in its banking division over the next two years. It has offices in Paris and Beirut and supplies to over 40 countries. It employs 250 full-time staff at its Leyland premises.
Other than the new Kern, it runs a number of HP Indigos and various laminating and cutting devices.
Tag has a number of global offices aside from those in Guildford and Andorra, with a turnover of £30m.