We spoke with Duncan Reid, author of our latest report The Future of Digital Printing for Secure Documents to 2027
, about how he sees the industry developing in the next five years.
Duncan has 33 years’ experience in the currency sector with Portals and De La Rue. He led new product introduction projects from idea origination to market launch of banknote security features that are used in billions of paper banknotes worldwide. As a market analyst he was responsible for researching and analysing new banknotes and produced reports on the uptake and lifecycle of security features in banknotes globally.
Q: What do you see as the major trends affecting the global security printing market at the moment?
There is a move from physical secure documents to digital identities. This is seen with increasing numbers of digitised versions of identity documents. More countries are adopting eGovernment platforms to enable citizens to access services online; including applying for identity documents such as birth certificates, driving licences and passports. ePassports and eNational Identity (eNID) cards already combine physical and digital elements, with a securely printed document containing a chip that stores the holder’s personal data. Digital identities will not entirely replace physical documents but a user will no longer need to carry them. Physical documents will continue to exist for some time and certainly over the next five years. The future of identity is becoming more and more virtual and in the longer run this will inevitably mean fewer physical secure documents.
Q: What do you see as future challenges?
The security printing sector considers itself to be in a war against counterfeiting. For the last 20 years, the most destructive weapons in the counterfeiters’ arsenal have been low cost colour copiers and personal computers with scanners and inkjet and colour laser printers. As the number of digitally printed security documents increases, the challenge for security printing is to make digital print secure against counterfeiting. Suppliers are doing this in partnerships that combine highly secure design and origination software that are printed with bespoke inkjet inks and toners on secure digital presses. Agfa Arziro Design software is used to generate complex designs for printing in dry toner on Xeikon presses using spot colours that cannot be reproduced with CMYK toners or inks. Jura design software is used to create security design features for digital security printing on HP Indigo Secure presses.
Q: What can readers expect from this latest report?
This report examines the trend to digital identities and the impact this will have on physical secure documents. It looks at the counterfeiting technologies used to copy secure documents and new product developments that are specifically designed to prevent counterfeiting. There are case studies showing how products that were traditionally analogue printed are transitioning to secure digital print, such as the move by the Government of Nepal to print security documents including passports and tax stamps on HP Indigo Secure 6K Digital presses. The report details the total digital printing market size and the position of security printing (by value and volume) within it.