Q&A With Linxens’ CEO Cuong H. Duong On The Latest Innovations In The World Of Bank Cards

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As a global leader in the design and manufacture of microconnectors for the banking industry, Linxens’ products and services enable card manufacturers to easily integrate the latest innovations such as the dynamic three-digit security code or biometrics.
Photo: Cuong H. Duong, CEO of Lixens. Photo credit: Lixens.

In December 2021, Linxens announced the appointment of Yvan Malépart as senior vice president of Global Sales & Marketing.

Member of Linxens’ Executive Committee, Yvan’s main mission is to continue the development of the group across all its markets and to drive the transformation and acceleration of Linxens’ diversification, including into the healthcare market.


“I am thrilled to join Linxens, a recognised world leader in its area,” said Yvan Malépart. “Linxens has been a driver of innovation for many years and has developed strong customer relationships and multiple successful partnerships. My aim will be to rely on our people and teams to continue their success in our established markets, maximising the value we give our customers. At the same time, I hope to bring a different strategic vision of what we can become and use our knowledge and technology in new ways that will impact people around the world day to day. I also strongly believe there is a convergence where Healthcare meets Technology and we can be at the forefront of that trend.”

IAA conducted a Q&A with Linxens’ CEO Cuong H. Duong to find out more about the latest innovations in the world of bank cards, telecoms, IoT, government, and healthcare as well as Linxens’ growth strategy in Singapore.

Q1: Please introduce Linxens?

Cuong H. Duong (CD): Linxens is a technology powerhouse, an international industrial group, and a world expert in the design and manufacture of flexible electronics for smart cards, and RFID antennas. Our activity consists of bringing our innovative, secure solutions to our historical segments (such as banking, telecoms, or government) and to other developing segments (including life science and healthcare) to ensure access control, asset tracking, authentication, and identification. With over 30 years’ experience, seven production sites worldwide, and four R&D centers, we have produced over 110 billion micro-connectors and 5 billion RFID antennas to date. 80 percent of the world’s population uses our products every day. Linxens employs 3,000 people worldwide and has been located in Singapore since 2003.

Q2: What is your activity on the Singapore site?

CD: Linxens Singapore is a real microcosm: we employ 400 people, which is more than 10 percent of our global workforce, and our talents include a sales team, an R&D team, and one of the rare production teams in Singapore. Our Singapore production capacity is very powerful in terms of high-volume smart card connector production, thanks to our reel-to-reel manufacturing techniques. In addition, one of our most important customers is located in Singapore, which reinforces the strategic position of this Linxens site in Southeast Asia. We have a very good relationship with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) since our establishment in 2003 leading to constant new product introductions into our Singaporean site.  For example, in addition to smart card microconnectors, Linxens Singapore has been producing connectors for the medical field for several years. Our goal is to meet the need for connected diagnostics and medical care. We are developing innovative telemedicine and diagnostic solutions that will revolutionise the medical and hospital sector in the very near future. In 2021, Linxens also developed its electronic module packaging service in Singapore for the high-tech field (assembly, wiring, and protection of the chip on the connector).

Q3: How was the Covid-19 crisis managed in the Singapore plant?

CD: We were able to adapt quickly and manage the pandemic situation effectively. Protecting our employees and keeping our business running to ensure constant supply to our customers, including in the medical segment, were our two main objectives. We consider that our objectives were achieved since the Singapore government recognised us in 2020 for the highly effective management of our site during the pandemic. This context allows us to face new challenges. As a leader committed to our clients, we must make sure that the site is able to run at the same pace as before the pandemic. If we cannot do this, we face the risk of a shortage of bank and SIM cards, which would inevitably have an impact on the global economy if consumers can no longer make purchases for example. In 2021, the situation improved thanks to a very high vaccination rate in our Singapore site, and generally in Singapore. Not only have we continued to ensure the safety of the staff and keep the factory running, we have also continued to develop new products and services in 2021, such as module packaging.

Q4: Beyond the organisational difficulties, one of the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis is a worldwide shortage of electronic components. How are you dealing with this?

CD: The shortage situation is related to the strong growth of the computer market during the first confinement period and the very strong recovery of the automotive industry. Currently, the main markets impacted by these shortages are the consumer electronics, telephony, smart card, and automotive industries. For example, the major car manufacturers did not anticipate such an economic recovery and therefore they are strongly affected by this shortage. At Linxens, our lead times increased from 3 to 6 months in 2021, and for 2022 we expect a lead time of 12 months or more for certain components. This increase is accompanied by an average price increase of 10 to 15 percent with some products increasing 30 to 40 percent. At Linxens, we expect the situation to return to normal by the end of 2023, beginning of 2024.

Q5: What are the strategic orientations of Linxens?

Photo: Yvan Malépart, senior vice president of Global Sales & Marketing at Linxens. Photo credit: Linxens.

CD: For decades, we have been positioned in several historical markets such as banking, telecoms and government. As such, Linxens is at the forefront of banking and SIM card technologies and an expert in the identity solutions market (passport solutions, ID cards, driver’s licenses, access control, etc.). Our RFID products meet all requirements for flexibility and reliability. Additionally, Linxens Singapore recently achieved EAL6 certification for our entire value chain, the highest security certification recognised in our industry. Leveraging on our expertise and know-how, we are also developing innovative value-added services for the IoT sector and the life sciences and healthcare segments.

With this in mind, Yvan Malépart joined us in December 2021 as senior vice president of Global Sales & Marketing. He will contribute to structuring Linxens’ sales force and accelerating the company’s development in high-growth sectors all the while maintaining Linxens’ historical leadership in our historical business.

Q6: On these different markets, what are the latest innovations?

CD: Our goal is to innovate wherever we are present. For example, in the banking sector, we are helping to bring technologies such as fingerprint biometrics or the battery-free dynamic card security code solution to the market. In the IoT sector, our innovations enable our customers to better combat against fraud, for example of alcoholic beverages, or to authenticate electronic cigarette cartridges. In healthcare, it is about developing intelligent care or diagnostic systems. Other innovations – including efforts to make the electronics industry more responsible – will apply to all the sectors in which we operate, thanks to the use of recycled materials in particular. These are all avenues of growth for Linxens, a company that is unique in the world in terms of both its production potential and its capacity for innovation!

Linxens released its module with Ellipse’s EVC All-in-One solution on 23 November 2021, which will allow the incorporation of the patented battery-free Dynamic Card Security Code technology by payment card manufacturers.

Photo: EVC All-In-One. Photo credit: Ellipse.

The EVC All-In-One is a single component, 8-pin EMV drop-in replacement module embedded in payment cards, with a 3-digit display on its back. This solution enables all card manufacturers to easily mass produce e-commerce-ready cards using their existing equipment and is compatible with most common card construction types (PVC, Metal, recycled plastic, etc.). This is the first module that allows card issuers to offer payment cards with protection in contact, contactless and e-commerce environments, while maximising card life and reducing card replacements.


Featured photo created by jcomp – www.freepik.com





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