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Metal cards: why demand is exploding

Global Trends
7 Mins.

Credit cards, in all their forms, have been around for over a century, ranging from Mastercard and Diner's Club cards to additional card concierge services. However, their traditional PVC form is now insufficient in providing a truly premium customer experience. Metal cards are becoming increasingly popular because of their weight and the feeling of prestige they deliver, offering customers a luxury touch of extra value and flair

Credit cards: a brief history

Over 130 years ago, the idea of the credit card was first explored by the American author and political activist, Edward Bellamy, in his utopian novel that describes life in the year 2000. Over the next century, the concept of the credit card developed, from the first “metal money,” to the first “chip” card, to the first “metal” card in 1999.

Demand for metal credit cards

Although the first metal card was issued more than 20 years ago, it is only in recent times that the growth in metal card demand has exploded. In 2018, around 30 million metal cards were issued, but analysts predict that by 2024, there will be almost 100 million metal cards issued worldwide.

Dominating your customers’ wallet: the weight of metal cards

Metal cards are true heavyweights and will take pride of place in any wallet. Where normal PVC cards weigh around 6 grams, a metal card can weigh anything up to 28 grams – nearly five times the weight, which could mean five times the impact for your customer.

Metal cards in the market: true premium experiences

The JP Morgan Chase® Reserve card, made of brass and plated with palladium, weighs in 28.3 grams. The materials used are worth over USD 1K. By invitation only, users must have at least USD 10M in assets with the company. The American ExpressR Centurion card - the "black card" - is also by invitation only.

Building the business case: facts and figures

Research shows us that offering metal cards provides a significant advantage to customer attraction and retention.

The industry landscape

In the past few years, the metal card landscape has changed drastically. Today, it’s not just big issuing banks and credit card companies that are offering metal cards to a small fraction of their highest status customers, these companies are using metal cards to target the mass affluent market. Alongside traditional offerings, technology businesses and fintech challenger brands have embraced the metal card as a key component of their premium offerings:

  • Apple® launched metal cards in August 2019
  • American Express® is rolling out metal cards across the market.
  • Fintech brands, such as Curve®, N26® and Revolut® are challenging established players with premium service issued through a metal card

The benefits of offering a metal card

Metal cards from G+D

With around 170 years’ experience creating payment technologies, G+D offers a broad range of metal cards, with different features to suit different customer bases and applications. Metal cards form just part of G+D’s comprehensive range of card issuance services, from design to delivery.

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