Metal Cards Retain Their Uniqueness

There is no doubt that metal cards have made their mark in the card industry. From the early-stage premium user programs to “mass market affluent” cards, issuers continue to use metal cards to help differentiate their card programs. With some 50 million cards being manufactured every year we have also seen the diminution of perceived value in some markets. A recent blog said “It’s time for issuers to stop with the metal cards” and that they are “no longer special” and “they’ve lost any sort of uniqueness factor”. Some of this is because it seems like every card manufacturer claims to “make” metal cards. We know that this is not actually true as there are many channel partner relationships that market the same products repeatedly. The early-stage innovator in this market did a great job of turning their brand names such as “Veneer” into a catch all for metal cards and they became ubiquitous. So, when someone like says metal cards have lost their uniqueness factor WE DISAGREE!

Innovation continues in this environment by manufacturers such as ICK as well as issuers and personalizers. Unique finishes, coatings, colors address all the sensory needs of customers especially weight, touch, sound and feel. Advances in lasers and other techniques are providing unique and distinctive features impossible to replicate on a plastic card. And perhaps of utmost importance is the innovation required by manufacturers in integrating dual interface capabilities to metal cards.

This innovation has been recognized by many issuers in the Fintech space who with the acceptance by Visa and Mastercard have issued millions of debit products integrating metal.

All metal cards for banking are not created equally.

The key for any card is not only to look great but to be able to use it universally on as many payment platforms as possible. And to do so in tap and pay environments. This includes places like subways, train stations, retail environments and ticketing. What has enabled this is the transformation of the metal card from just being heavy to also being eminently practical. ICK has pioneered this technology holding two US patents and Korean patents for a tap both side metal card with the weight and sound of the card only previously available in a contact only metal card. These innovations give issuers a choice to differentiate the card with not only weights and sounds but advanced contactless technology.