Have you considered how the GDPR affects your staff ID cards?

The new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is nearly official. Although the regulation has been in place since 2016, from May 2018, it will become enforceable.

As an organisation, you’re probably someway through conducting an information audit, seeking to:

– Build a thorough picture of your ‘data landscape’ – i.e. documenting where your data is currently held and who you share it with,

– And what the lawful basis is for processing it. Do you need to regain the individual’s consent?

If you currently share your staff’s personal data with an ID Card Bureau and they print cards on your behalf, how does the regulation affect you?

The Data Landscape

Are you doing enough to protect the identities of your card holders?

If you outsource your ID card printing, you (as the Data Controller) are sharing personally identifiable information of your staff with an external third party (known as the Data Processor) which needs to be protected under the data protection principles of the GDPR.

It isn’t enough to just generate a list of your third-party suppliers or partners – organisations that process your personal data on your behalf –  you also need to assess their procedures. Is the data being processed in a manner that ensures its security? Are they meeting their GDPR responsibilities as a Data Processor?

The first thing to do would be to ask the ID card Bureau for their Privacy Policy and interrogate it. You need to know what they are doing with your data, how they’re protecting it and what they’re doing to ensure they don’t infringe on the rights of the subject of that data.

Lawful basis for processing & consent

You need to demonstrate that there is a lawful basis for processing data. In the case of ID cards this is simpler than most: you need your staff to wear their ID cards to access the building and complete their job responsibilities.

In this case, the processing of the data is necessary in relation to a ‘contract the individual has entered into’ – namely employment.

What are the risks of continuing to use an external card printing company?

Remember that your staff have the right to know where their data is stored, and you have an obligation to implement technical and organisational measures to show that you have built data protection into all your data processing activities.

First things first – you need to ensure that any third party processing your data has their own GDPR ‘ducks in a row’. Are they fully compliant?

Naturally there are risks when you aren’t controlling the data yourself. And the more third-party processors you use, the more that risk increases.

Data Breach

Don’t forget, under GDPR, if there is a data breach by one of your Data Processors, you are both liable (you as the Data Controller, the third party as the Processor) – even if there is nothing you could have done to prevent that breach. You are also reliant on the Processor informing you that a breach has occurred.

Failure to report a breach when it happens could result in a fine, as well as a fine for the actual breach itself.

Printing your own cards minimises your data risk

An ID card printer puts you in control of your own security

Bringing your ID card or membership card issuance inhouse allows you to manage the data risk, rather than relying on a third-party processor to process and store your data correctly and securely.

Investing in a Plastic Card Printer puts you in control of your own data:

  • You keep your personally identifiable information within your own controlled environment.
  • You manage when cards are printed, by whom and how the data is handled.
  • You manage the right for rectification and the right to be forgotten or restrict processing
  • You follow your own due process rather than relying on someone else to follow theirs.
  • Choose a plastic card printer with the necessary locks and security features, and you’ll ensure that no unauthorised personnel can access it.

If you choose to print your cards yourself, don’t forget about the data you leave behind 

A lot of people don’t realise that the card printer ribbon retains the imprint of the personal information after the card has been printed.

Smart 51 ribbons
Card Printer Ribbons retain the imprint of images and confidential information

Which means anyone picking up the used ribbon after its been discarded would be able to retrieve all the information of your card holders.

Make sure you build the shredding of your printer ribbon into your due process or you could buy a card printer that automatically ‘scrambles’ the ribbon for you. Read more here

Do a thorough data mapping

Whether you choose to carry on using an external supplier for your ID cards or you take them inhouse, make sure you consider all angles of the process. Where are the risks likely to lie?

Is the data transmitted securely, and kept on a password protected database for example? Is a data breach possible through not disposing of a card ribbon safely, or by sending cards through non-secured mail?

Considering the reasons you might fail to meet GDPR compliance is the best way to create a plan to ensure you don’t.

Read more on the ICO’s website

Search Card Printer Packages

Buy a double-sided Magicard Enduro Card Printer for the price of a single

Magicard Enduro ID card printer

Buy a single-sided Magicard Enduro ID Card Printer before 1st March 2018 and we’ll upgrade it to a double-sided for free, saving you over £100.

We’ll even throw in Easybadge Lite Card Design software too (worth £105) to get you started.


A great double sided printer for just £669.50 + VAT

The Magicard Enduro ID Card Printer is one of the best value ID card printers around, and regularly tops the best seller lists for quality of performance for a reasonable price.

If you have medium-high numbers of staff and you’re considering producing your own ID cards in-house for the first time, this is an ideal printer to get you started, particularly as it can grow with you – for example you can choose to add smart card encoding at a later date.

  • Prints up to 500 mono, single-sided cards per hour
  • Prints up to 125 colour, single-sided cards per hour
  • Choose an anti-counterfeiting watermark design to add to your cards for extra security
  • LED Colour display for ease of use
  • Also includes rewrite technology, allowing you to reuse and reprint the same card again and again – ideal for visitor passes or for temporary ID cards

It comes with Magicard’s 3-year limited warranty, and brilliant support from their UK-based support team if you need it.

If you’d like any further information please get in touch, or read more on Magicard’s website.

Why the EasyBadge should probably be the first ID card printer you own

Easybadge printer package

If you’re about to buy an ID card printer for the first time, you’ll most likely be comparing the capabilities and prices of a few different models.

Here’s why we think the EasyBadge should be on your list – and why it should be somewhere near the top.

First things first though, what do you need your card printer to do?

If you’ve decided to print your staff ID cards on-site for the first time, you need to think carefully about what you want from your cards, and how many you’ll be printing.

If you’re printing high volumes of double-sided cards, and want to be able to encode them with smart card capabilities for example, a card printer like this one won’t cut the mustard.

However if you’re printing small-medium quantities of colour ID cards (single sided), or membership cards, a printer like the EasyBadge will be all you need.

And at its low price point, it suddenly becomes comparable to entry-level printer bundles, even though it’s capable of much more.

More tips on what to consider when setting up an ID card scheme.

Who the EasyBadge is designed for

Easybadge ID card printerIf you’re new to the world of ID card printers, and don’t want to do anything too sophisticated with your cards, the EasyBadge is for you.

It’s marketed as ‘plug in and print’, and it genuinely is.

We gave the package to our new sales person in the office (who has never used a card printer before) and they had their first ID card printing off in around 10-15 minutes.

The set-up wizard walks you through the set-up steps with no drama.

easybadge-softwareThe card design software and records management is incredibly intuitive and simple, and makes it easy to set up multiple card designs. You might want a different layout for temporary and permanent staff for example, or to colour-code for different departments.

We honestly haven’t seen an ID card software that is this easy to use, which is what EasyBadge are banking on, as they’ve invested a lot in developing it.

The print quality is good too, although you won’t get true edge-to-edge printing from it, or from any printer at this price realistically.

It prints out a card in around 30 seconds.

What’s in the box?

  • 200 print Colour Ribbon & 200 Cards
    The ribbon is pre-loaded into the printer, so that’s one less thing you need to worry about.
  • EasyBadge Software – Professional Version (worth £295)
    Setting up card designs and database is easy, as is switching between designs. And what’s more, they’re giving you the Professional Version which gives you unlimited records and unlimited databases, so you won’t out-grow it unless you want to upgrade to encoding capabilities.
  • Free EasyBadge App for mobile and tablet
    This is really helpful if you have staff across different locations. Download the free App, and users can upload their images and data wherever they are.
  • Secure Card Torch
    The EasyBadge ribbon comes with a UV overlay, that allows you to print an image in UV onto the card. This can be viewed using the secure card torch included. Not convinced how useful this actually is, but it’s a nice added extra.

Why we’d buy it Easybadge ID card print

  • The software is the most simple and easy to use in the market. We’ve tested a lot of ID card software in our time, and this is the most intuitive and simple to use. It’s also genuinely fast to install. You’ll be creating your own card designs (and printing them) in no time.
  • It contains everything you need to get printing immediately. With the ribbon pre-loaded, and the cards easy to put into the card hopper, you can get to work straight away, and you don’t need buy anything separately.
  • The cost of the consumables is reasonable. You don’t want to be paying over the odds for a new printer ribbon every time, and you won’t. You’ll pay around £40 for a 200 image colour ribbon, and you can pick up 100 quality plastic cards for around £10.
  • It has a 5-year warranty. This is a big plus, as on an entry-level printer you would normally only get one year warranty thrown in. The fact that they’re providing 5 years demonstrates the confidence that EasyBadge has in their technology

Find out more at www.easybadge.com

The Magicard Rio Pro & why it’s a belter of a card printer

We get to test and play with a lot of ID card printers at the Card Network, and like our children, we try not to have a favourite.

But the reality is, some ID card printers naturally stand out. It could be in terms of the functionality they offer for the price, their ease of use, or how good they are at delivering the job they’re designed to do.

The Magicard Rio Pro is one of those card printers.

Here are the reasons why, including the main reason we’d buy it.

Magicard rio pro side
The Magicard Rio Pro – available in single or dual sided

Magicard Rio Pro Front







Who it’s designed for

The Rio Pro is “designed for professionals”. By which Magicard means that it’s designed for organisations that print high numbers of ID cards, and who are looking for sharp images and a professional quality of print.

Magicard’s printers are also targeted at organisations where security is important, which is where their patented HoloKote® watermark feature comes in (more on this later).

We’re talking about companies with requirements for hundreds to thousands of ID cards, and particularly those that need the cards to perform more functionality, like act as an access control or smart card.

If you only have 20 staff to badge, and have no encoding requirements, you don’t need all the capabilities offered by the Rio Pro. There are more cost effective ID card printers out there on the market.

Reasons we think it does the job brilliantly


  • Print up to 500 mono cards per hour, or 150 colour cards per hour
  • Batch print with the 100-card feeder, or print one-offs with the hand feeder

Print Quality

The Rio Pro provides edge-to-edge printing, and the sharpness of images and text is as good as any we’ve seen.

Magicard say that the “superior printing quality is enhanced by ICC profiles that seamlessly map colour between software and the printer.” Whatever ICC profiles are, they seem to work.

Magicard rio pro id card sample

Enhanced Security through HoloKote®

This is Magicard’s main point of difference when compared to other ID card printer manufacturers, and it’s a good one.

The Rio Pro comes with Magicard’s patented HoloKote® technology, which adds a standard transparent watermark to your cards when they’re printed. Tilt the cards up to the light and you’ll see this layer across the entire surface of the card.

This gives your cards an added layer of visual security, and makes them more difficult to copy. Four different designs can be chosen from the printer driver. You don’t need an extra ribbon for the HoloKote®, it’s printed through all standard Magicard ribbons.

You can also buy their HoloPatch cards which add an extra security feature – a highly-visible gold seal onto the card.

Add-on functionalityID card Rio Pro

The Rio Pro is scalable, so it can grow with you. There are various options available to ‘add-on’ if/when you need to:

  • Upgrade to the Duo for double sided print – this can be done ‘in the field’, you won’t have to send the printer back
  • Various encoding options. If you need your ID cards to also work with your access control or time and attendance system, you can incorporate the necessary magnetic stripe or smart card encoding
  • Custom HoloKote®. If you want greater security than the standard HoloKote® offers, you can have a custom HoloKote® security mark created by Magicard to your individual logo or design.

But here’s the main reason we’d buy it


The Rio Pro is fast, reliable and provides great quality dye sublimation printing.

But what really makes it stand out is the fact that it also has rewrite capabilities, and is equally good at both.

The benefits of rewritable technology Rewritable temporary ID card

Swap to the rewritable function, insert a rewritable plastic card, and the Rio Pro will erase and re-print the same card up to 500 times.

By using thermal imaging (no ribbons are used for this function), the printer will erase all previous data on the card and print new information in its place.

This functionality is brilliant if you regularly print temporary cards, for example for Visitors or Temporary workers. Rather than chucking the card in the bin at the end of the day, you simply erase it, ready for the next one. Your only cost is the cards – you don’t need to purchase ribbons, which is where it becomes really cost effective.

Remember that you have to use special rewrite cards, which generally print in either black or blue.

Read more information on how rewritable card printers work.

Other things we like

  • Free support from the Magicard team

If you’re not sure how to use a particular feature of the Rio Po, or you hit a few printing bumps along the way, you can call or email Magicard’s technical support team for help. They’ll help you get the most out of your new printer.

  • Free 3 year UltraCoverPlus warranty Magicard warranty

This is a big plus with the Rio Pro. Magicard’s no quibble warranty is highly regarded, and with this model, you get their 3-year UltraCover Plus thrown in.

This means that they will repair any printer issues and replace a damaged print head for free, no matter what the cause of failure, for three years from purchase date.

It also provides what’s known in the industry as a ‘hot swap printer’; meaning they’ll send you a loan printer if yours has to be shipped back for repair.

Special offer

We currently have a special offer on the Magicard Rio Pro of a free upgrade to Dual sided, while stocks last.

If you would like some free card samples so you can see the quality of print before you buy, please contact us.

Further specs can be found on the Magicard site.

Magicard logo CMYK


Spas: theme your printed gift cards for Mother’s Day

If you’re a spa or beauty salon, Mother’s Day is one of the biggest events in the calendar. Spa vouchers or printed gift cards are one of the most popular gifts for mums and grandmas on Mothering Sunday (especially for those who ‘have everything’).

Theme your printed gift cards for Mother’s Day

Rather than giving out a standard card, why not create special Mother’s Day printed gift cards instead? We know they’re well received by mum and the buyer alike – and they’ll be a great advertisement or reminder sitting in your spa window or reception desk.

Customised printed gift cards is easy to do with your own card printer

A plastic card printer is a worthwhile investment if you want to customise your own printed gift cards cards and print them in-house. They aren’t as expensive as they used to be, and for organisations that regularly have a need for plastic cards, the investment quickly pays for itself when compared to using a card bureau (i.e. a provider that prints the cards for you.)

Many spas have a membership programme or loyalty scheme, and so have an on-going need for membership cards or loyalty cards as well as printed gift cards – all of which can be printed using a card printer.

If you’re part of a Hotel or entertainment complex, the printer can also be used to print promotional messages on the back of hotel key cards, or even on staff ID badges.

Which printer?

The printer you choose will depend on the volume of cards you need, and frequency.

For most organisations looking for an entry-level printer that doesn’t need to do anything too clever, or act as a workhorse, the Evolis Badgy fits the bill.

The Badgy is a complete and quick card printer designed to ‘plug in and print’. It’s incredibly easy to use and comes with all the software you need to custom design your own cards. You’ll even find some Mother’s Day templates ready for you to personalise your printed gift cards here. The Badgy is on sale for £585.38, including one year’s warranty.

Mother’s Day falls on Sunday 30th March this year. Don’t forget.