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Security Features

Universal Smart Cards offer a range of security features to help you protect your smart cards from fraudulent re-production and tampering. When it comes to security there are several key features that can be applied to your cards, you’ll find our most commonly used security features below.

Laser-etched Customised Holofoil

This is one of our most popular security features and offers a high level of security when added to cards, largely reducing the chances of someone counterfeiting the cards.

Picture 1A laser-etched hologram is a highly secure tactile hot foiled feature which offers a unique holographic effect on the face of the card. It can be customised to incorporate your company logo and offers an easy way to visually check the authenticity of a card. This feature is very difficult to replicate as a die is cast with your company logo which is then utilised by specialist machinery at our technical centre to bond the foil to your cards.

This can be done in either silver or gold and offers a really unique way to protect your cards!

Check out our holofoil flyer here!

UV (Ultraviolet) Printing

Ultraviolet printing, or UV printing as it’s more commonly known is another popular way to add security to cards. UV printing is the process of printing an invisible design to a card, that only becomes visible under UV light. This adds security in a covert way, which is not visible to the naked eye, so offers a great way to add security to cards as only selected people would know it’s there and can verify the authenticity of the card under UV light.

The UV ink can be printed as any part of your design including text, logo’s or trademarks, adding extra security to your cards. Its commonly found in high security applications such as government issued id’s and passports and is virtually impossible to copy as it’s carried out using a special technique at the time of manufacture.

Secure Overlay

The overlay of a card is a very thin clear layer that is added to the top of the card to protect the print and prolong the life of your cards. This is common on most cards and in its self adds and extra layer of security, however t Universal Smart Cards we offer a few different ways to add an extra layer of security when thinking about the overlay on your cards.


Unlike a standard overlay which is made from a very fine film a laminate is added to the top layer of the card and is a thin piece of clear PVC material. The laminate material is bonded to the top layer of the card with heat and therefore cannot be removed. This enhances the security as any attempt to remove this layer and modify the print underneath results in the card image underneath being completely destroyed.


This is our most common option when looking at a secure overlay and allows a watermark to be Picture 1incorporated into the overlay on the card, meaning that when the card is viewed at different angles the watermark can be seen easily but when looking face on does not distort the print of the card underneath. This watermark comes in a range of standard designs or can also be personalised with text or a company logo. This feature is patented by Magicard® and is available either via our technical centre or by purchasing a Magicard printer.

Tactile Impression

A tactile impression is a visible security feature that in imprinted into the laminate of a cards oPicture 1verlay. This impression has a raised effect so can easily be identified both visually and by feel. The tactile impression is very hard to duplicate as it utilises a die that stamps the impression into the card and can only be done using specific printers. This feature allows you to choose from several standard impressions or have your own created to match your company branding.


A hologram, or security hologram as it is sometimes referred to, consists of two or more images that are stacked in such a way that each image is visible independently depending on the angle of viewing. Holograms are perhaps one of the most secure features you can add to your cards, as they must be replicated from a master hologram which requires technologically advanced, specialist equipment. You’ll often find these holograms on high security cards and documents such as credit and debit cards.

These holograms display a completely unique, multi-layer, multi-colour effect and have one or two levels of flat graphics that ‘float’ above the surface of the hologram. This is aided by the background that appears to be under or behind the hologram, giving the illusion of depth.

We are able to help you produce your very own unique hologram and apply this to your cards at the time of manufacture. To add this feature, get in touch with our team today who will be more than happy to help.

Signature Panel

A signature panel is another feature commonly added to cards. This is a feature that speaks for itself – it’s a small panel that is added to either the face or reverse of the card, where the user must add a signature.

Picture 1

This is probably one of the simplest forms of security, yet it’s very effective. When required the user may be asked, for example, to sign a receipt or sign into a work place and this can then be matched with the signature on their card – helping to verify their identity. At Universal Smart Cards we offer a range of signature strips to suit your card design, in different sizes are colours. Just chat to a member of our team and we’ll talk to you about the best option for your cards.


Guilloche is a security feature that common in secure applications such as bank notes and passports and is very difficult to replicate. A guilloche is created within the design of your card and is made up of fine lines that prohibit copying of the design. It’s difficult to copy as the original artwork file is required to print these lines and on cards, they can only be created utilising specialist printing equipment capable of creating the very fine detail. At Universal Smart Cards we are able to offer this feature on pre-printed cards and can work with you to help create your custom design.


Micro-text, like guilloche is created within the design of your card and is exactly what you would expect of its name – very, very fine text printed within the cards design. Micro-text is that small it can only be easily identified under a magnifying glass. It very small size helps to prohibit copying as only specialist print equipment can print the text that fine without it becoming distorted. We are able to offer micro-text on pre-printed cards and can also help you with how best to do this within your card’s design.

OVI Inks

Optical Variable Inks, known as OVI inks, are colour shifting inks that change colour depending on the angle they are viewed at. These can be added to any part of your cards design and offer an added layer of security. These inks are commonly used throughout several high security applications, such as bank notes or driving licenses.

Only a handful of companies manufacture this ink, making it very difficult to replicate and a great choice as an anti-counterfeiting measure. They inherently protect from counter feting due to their nature; the different inks reflect various wavelengths in white light differently meaning the unaided eye will observe the effect as a change of colour when the viewing angle is changed. A copier or scanner can only copy a card or document at a fixed angle relative to the documents surface, meaning the effect is not easy replicated without specialist printing equipment.

Chat to a member of our team today to learn how OVI inks could be used to protect your cards from counterfeiting.

If you’d like further information on our security features or you like a sample showing the above features, contact our sales team today and

Looking for a security feature you’ve come across but can’t see it here? Have a chat to one of our experts today and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.