Teslin® vs PVC

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the base material used for manufacturing custom printed plastic cards. We’ve compiled a myths and facts table below to help answer the questions many have about Teslin® versus PVC card substrates.


Debunking The Myths Surrounding PVC and Teslin®

Myths About PVC Myths About Teslin® Facts
Meets all ISO, ANSI, Credit Card, and ABA standards for transaction cards. Does not meet ISO, ANSI, Credit Card, and ABA standards for transaction cards. The truth is that Teslin meets all standards that do not specifically require PVC.
Has clean, precision, optically die cut edges and round (corners?) Has rough, burred, steel rule die cut edges and corners. Teslin and PVC may be die cut with either steel rule or male/female die cutters. Unusual shapes require steel die rules.
Has superior, 4 color print detail, with brighter, more vibrant reproduction. Has duller, 4 color flow print with grainy reproduction. Teslin is printed by off-set with superior color consistency.
Will pop back into shape if accidentally bent or folded. Will permanently crease if accidentally bent or folded. PVC breaks when bent. Teslin is far more forgiving, due to elasticity of polyester lamination.
The PVC card is shipped ready to use. It is environmentally friendly, with no wasteful by-product. The Teslin card must be taken apart from its die-cut shell at time of issuance, leaving a wasteful, environmentally unfriendly by-product.PVCRecent testing by several governments has also shown that children can ingest hazardous chemicals from PVC toys during use. Governments and industry are taking action to eliminate PVC. Danish and Swedish governments are restricting PVC use, hundreds of communities worldwide are eliminating PVC in buildings and many companies such as Nike, IKEA and The Body Shop have committed to eliminating PVC from their products.Green peace is campaigning to phase out PVC in favor of more environmentally friendly alternatives. Both PVC and Teslin® gift card products require a “hangar.”PVC is an environmental health disaster, posing major health hazards in its manufacturing releasing DIOXIN the most environmentally damaging plastic toxin known to man. Less than 1% is recycled, SEE GREENPEACE WEB SITE. Teslin® is a synthetic paper product and Polyester laminate a by-product of petroleum. Polyester and Teslin® have a reputation of being environmentally friendly.
PVC cards are laminated using a high-temperature, heat-lamination process. Vinyl over laminate film is scuff and scratch resistant. Teslin® cards are laminated using the soft adhesive lamination process. TESLIN® CARDS ARE GUARANTEED FOR 10 YEARS against breakage because of the superiority of lamination. PVC cards do not offer any guarantee.
Magnetic stripes are embedded in the film laminate, minimizing wear to reader heads. Magnetic stripes are applied to the card surface, leading to faster wear of the reader heads. Magnetic material is identical for Teslin® and PVC. Both are applied using heavy tonnage and there has never been a compliant recorded of “faster wear of reader heads” on Teslin® cards. Over 500 million Teslin® magnetic stripe cards have been produced.
PVC is the only substrate used for secure card applications i.e. Visa, Amex, ATM cards, and hotel door keys. Teslin® does not meet those standards. True. VISA, Amex, and ATM all have standards that specifically require PVC. It is doubtful if any Teslin® manufacturer has an interest in the alteration of that standard that dates back to the 1960’s.