Card Printing Tips & Advice

The 2023 Emerging ID Card Printer Trends

Are you looking to discover the emerging ID card printer trends that will help you and your organisation in 2023?

Our specialist card printer experts have identified the top trends they anticipate to emerge in 2023 to help inform and educate those responsible for purchasing and using an ID card printer.

So what can we expect from the card printer market in 2023?

Read on to find out more!

The Top Five Trends Summarised:

  • The Rise of Retransfer Printers
  • Going Green
  • Reducing Technology Debt
  • macOS Compatibility
  • The Resurgence of Data Security

Let’s start with number one on our list, the rise of retransfer.

The Rise of Retransfer

The rise of Retransfer card printersPost-pandemic, we’ve experienced a significant switch from organisations changing from traditional, non-technology photo ID cards to now printing their photo ID directly onto a form of technology card, also known as an access control card used to gain entry to the workplace.

This change in demand has seen a substantial market share increase for retransfer ID card printers, and here’s why:

👉 Retransfer printers deliver high-definition card printing; think the best.
👉 Higher card durability means less money spent on reissuance.
👉 Retransfer printers offer advanced card security features meaning unclonable cards.
👉 Faster start-up speeds mean less time waiting for the machine. Handy for those with large print runs.
👉 The only choice for printing directly onto access control cards without damaging the printhead.

Retransfer printers are designed to handle larger print-run volumes and should be the only choice when printing a form of photo ID directly onto an access control card.

Retransfer printers specialise in high-definition printing without damaging the printhead or risking imperfections during printing due to the uneven card surface.

Using a retransfer printer can increase card durability and reduce card reissuance costs thanks to the specialised printing method, where the card design adheres to a protective overlay, which is then placed directly onto the card surface. This saves long-term reprint costs and significantly reduces the risk of misprints.

One to Watch

We stock a leading range of retransfer machines, but we expect the Swiftpro K30 Retransfer Printer sales to dominate this space in 2023.  The printer eradicates long wait times, combined with outstanding print quality, which has often been a huge pain point for end-users.

Going Green

Green initiatives are rapidly increasing in popularity, with organisations now opting for sustainable products and services that enhance the environment and help reduce their carbon footprint.

Here’s how sustainable card printers play their part:

👉 Recycled materials are now being used in the manufacturing process of new machines.

👉 New printers are now supplied with no ribbon cassette reducing the overhead on plastic.

👉 Printer manufacturers are partnering with local and regional eco/Green initiatives such as to contribute towards new forestation projects and offset their carbon emissions which is great to see.

One to Watch

The new EasyBadge 3.0 ID badge printer bundle ticks all the boxes regarding sustainability. The machine is made from 75% recycled materials and is manufactured here in Britain, meaning the mileage the printer has to travel has been decreased and, in turn, less fuel is required, dramatically;y reducing carbon emissions when compared to like-for-like offerings.

Reducing Technology Debt

Technology debt describes the hidden costs of purchasing, repairing or maintaining the wrong product over a set period.

In the world of card printing, the example would be customer A who purchases a direct-to-card printer for £900. Post-purchase, they realise the printer does not meet their requirements. The printer is now causing card wastage, and the printhead becomes damaged, resulting in the customer needing to purchase a retransfer printer to complete their card printer requirements.

As per the table below, the technical debt, in this case, was £1600.

Customer A Cost
Purchases a Direct-To-Card Printer £900
Card Wastage £300
Printhead Damage £400
Purchases a Retransfer Card Printer £1,900
Total £3,500
Technology Debt £1,600

MacOS Compatibility

The market share of Mac operating systems in the UK recently rose from 19.36% in 2017 to 26.48% in 2021. This steady increase has prompted the development of MAC-compatible card printers and the additional OS support within ID card design software to meet demand.

We expect this trend to continue into 2023 as organisations also accommodate hybrid/remote working, where such workers often prefer a MAC system.

One to watch:

The Magicard 300 is our most popular MAC-compatible ID card printer, and in all honesty, we don’t expect this to change in 2023. Made right here in the UK, the printer also comes with 5*customer support, including:

  • Three-year manufacturer warranty
  • Six-week replacement window
  • Optional one-year warranty extension

Bonus Trend: The Resurgence of Data Security

As demand for card printing machines increases, so does the risk of potential data breaches, but how?

Often unknown to those new to the industry, the data you send to a printer can be seen on the ribbon take-up spool.

Once all prints on the ribbon spool have been used, the ribbon is often taken out of the machine and placed into a waste bin within the workplace or office setting.

The solution? The IDP Smart Bit Ribbon Shredder

IDP Smart first brought its ribbon shredder to the market in 2019, and to date, it is the only shredder that we can confidently say ensures the instant disposal of used ID card printer ribbons in seconds.

This process will ensure company data is disposed of correctly, which means the organisation continues to comply with GDPR.

We’re expecting a significant resurgence in the shredder for 2023, and it’s easy to see why.


Trends change constantly, and the ID card printing world is no different.

Whichever trend you adopt, do it to increase security and help future-proof your organisational card printing needs.