Press Releases



SAN ANTONIO, TX ― July 7, 2008 ― The International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA) recently awarded top honors to Harland Clarke for its first clear Visa® check card created for a financial institution. The see-through card was designed by Harland Clarke for Alabama State Employees Credit Union, and printed in partnership with Oberthur Technologies of America Corp. The clear card was created to support the 27,000-member credit union’s ClearChecking™ program.

The ClearCheck® Card is a debit card designed as the cornerstone of Alabama State Employees Credit Union’s ClearChecking® program. The innovative and eye-catching design is able to visually communicate the new product offering to its audience in a way that traditional print materials couldn’t.  Featured in television and print ads, the ClearCheck® Card was created to appeal to the 24-35 age market and differentiate Alabama State Employees Credit Union, but is generating interest in other age groups, as well.

“The card is very popular with prospective members and our existing members,” said Barry Mask, Marketing Director for Alabama State Employees Credit Union. “In the first two weeks of its introduction, new checking accounts increased by more than 300 percent. New members told us that they had considered switching checking accounts and the new clear card was so unique and innovative, they decided to make the move to Alabama State Employees Credit Union.”

The Alabama State Employees Credit Union’s ClearCheck® Card was nominated for the ICMA’s Élan Awards for Card Manufacturing Excellence by Oberthur Technologies in partnership with Michelle Thornton, Harland Clarke’s Director of Emerging Businesses. The competition is considered the pinnacle of design innovation and card technical achievement in the plastic card industry. Entries were judged solely on the card features since entries were not identified by company.

“This card is the perfect example of the collaborative approach Harland Clarke takes with our clients,” noted Thornton. “From the moment Mr. Mask discussed the idea with Peter Mickler, his Harland Clarke account executive, the wheels were in motion. Peter and our Card Services team, led by Amy Turnock, were absolutely focused on ensuring that this card for Alabama State Employees Credit Union would be the innovative card they wanted.”

Added Mask, “We’ve had a long and positive relationship with Harland Clarke, so we weren’t surprised with the efforts made to make this clear debit card a reality. But we were so pleased with this particular experience ― we sent Amy a bouquet of flowers!”

The card for Alabama State Employees Credit Union won the Best Secure Financial Card category, beating out finalists Citibank and Banco de Popular de Puerto Rico.  Other award categories were Best Non-Secure Card, Technical Achievement, Best Gift Card, Best ID Card, Unique Innovation and Design, Best “Free Form” Design, Judges’ Choice, People’s Choice, Best Vendor New Product, Process or Material.  Other winners included Blockbuster, Apple, Sears, Nordstrom, Target Corporation and Target Financial Services.


About Harland Clarke Corp. Harland Clarke Corp. is a leading provider of integrated payment solutions, marketing services and technology solutions. It serves approximately 15,000 financial institutions, as well as major investment firms, business-to-business clients, small businesses, and individual consumers. With its corporate headquarters in San Antonio, Texas and a regional headquarters in Decatur, Georgia, Harland Clarke employs approximately 5,800 people and has manufacturing facilities nationwide. Harland Clarke Corp. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harland Clarke Holdings Corp. which also wholly owns Harland Financial Solutions Inc. and Scantron Corporation.

About Alabama State Employees Credit Union. Alabama State Employees Credit Union was founded in 1954 for the employees of Alabama State University. Since then, it has grown into a community resource, serving 27,000 members in Montgomery and nine surrounding counties. With assets of $139 million and 70 employees, it is one of the oldest credit unions in the state and has been a 24-time (consecutive) winner of the 5-Star Superior Rating from Bauer Financial, Inc., the nation’s leading independent credit union research firm. This record gained ASE CU Bauer Financial’s Exceptional Performance Rating, a distinction earned by only 20 percent of credit unions nationally.

About Oberthur Technologies of America Corp. Oberthur Technologies of America Corp.  is a leading provider of secure payment cards, providing its customers with a complete end-to-end solution including card design, manufacturing, personalization, fulfillment, and packaging. Through innovation and excellence in service, Oberthur Technologies of America Corp. has created top-of-wallet solutions for its more than 5,000 financial institutions on all five continents.