Is this the right time for banks to launch Personalized Image Cards???

Once upon a time, debit and credit cards were simple (and somewhat boring) pieces of plastic. The only ‘personalization’ that came was in the form of your name which was put on the card along with the bank’s logo and other important information. Now, you have the freedom to choose your favorite image and see it every time you make a purchase with your card! From cheering for your favorite team to bringing up the memories of your favorite vacation, to showing off your pet’s tootsy smile, the options for your card image are limitless.

Capital One provides this feature on both credit and debit cards, but if you only want to stick to debit cards for now, Wells Fargo offers the best for you to choose from. You can upload any image, with a few restrictions such as no pictures of firearms, skulls, celebrities, etc. Many other banks also provide you with the feature of putting personalized images to your credit and debit cards, each with their own guidelines and restrictions.

The trend of using personalized images has recently become more popular- with family pictures, scenic images, and pets appearing in increasing numbers on bank cards. This trend also boosts sales, as can be seen by the rise in transaction volumes among America First’s Picture Perfect card users. Personalized debit card users managed to make an average of 20 transactions per month while standard debit card users made an average of 12 transactions. Similarly, personalized credit cards had an average balance $200 higher than an average balance of a standard credit card.

This increase is attributed to the customers’ emotional attachment to their debit and credit cards. The connection provided to the customer by means of these cards translates to more business for the banks.

Another benefit of using personalized credit and debit cards is the increase in security measures. As a part of Visa’s new design standards, the personalized card design will switch the Visa dove hologram from the front of the card to the back and integrate it with the magnetic strip. This makes card counterfeiting more difficult and protects the identity of the user better.

Here are a few other benefits of issuing personalized image cards to customers:

1. It helps in retaining existing customers and bring in new customers: Since it is an out-of-the-box idea, more people have started beginning to adapt to it, thereby increasing the number of customers for the banks. The existing customers are also given a new channel to stay engaged and continue providing business to the bank.

2. People are constantly looking to distinguish themselves: In a population of billions of people, it becomes very easy to get lost in the crowd. Most customers are very keen to distinguish themselves. Everyone wants to be seen and regarded as an individual when dealing with their bank and everyday payments. These personalized cards are a way for customers to not feel like one of the masses, and instead be thought of as an individual. When banks issue personalized banks, they give customers the chance to embrace banking in a new way.

3. These cards also have an added benefit of being eco-friendly: Customizable cards have a sustainable production process that reduces the strain on our environment. Responsible and sustainable banking is the need of the hour and is being recognized by the banks for the same.

4. They are easily identifiable among all your cards: With all the cards you carry in your wallet it can get a little difficult to pick the right one at the time of a purchase. Sometimes, you might also give out the wrong card at the counter, which leads to a lot of confusion in managing your expenses. The average American has 3.7 cards, so it is understandable that they would prefer different cards for different purposes- such as personal purchases, business purchases, family card, etc.

With customized cards, you can easily distinguish different cards even if they are from the same bank, thanks to the different pictures on each of them. This way, your family card can have a picture of your family, your business card can have an image of a favorite tour, and so on, therefore when you make a purchase you will know exactly which card to use for what.

5. They allow third parties to tie up with banks and provide offers: Customizable cards are an excellent way to gain a few loyalty points from third parties such as supermarkets and retailers that have partnered with your bank for customizable cards. Example- every time you shop at a retailer partner with your personalized card, you get loyalty points and sometimes even a discount.

6. They’re fun to use!: Using customized cards, your bank and you can have some much-needed fun in banking. With a pet, or an interesting photo, you can create the best designs for your credit and debit cards!

The world of financial services is ever-changing, with customers looking for more personalized, convenient, and secure options to interact with their banks. Customized cards take you a step closer to a better way of banking.

Sankhadeep Chakraborty

Sankhadeep heads the engineering arm in Verinite. He has been associated with the BFSI domain from the start of his career. He is a hardcore techie and innovation drives him. He believes in the saying "Nothing is impossible"