Metal cards have caught the eye of consumers in recent years. A certain segment of cardholder craves the feelings of exclusivity, luxury, and sophistication that metal cards provide. Attracted by the prospect of adding new, affluent cardholders, along with the promise of strong retention, many financial institutions are looking to add metal card options to their portfolios. But the higher costs involved in manufacturing metal cards is giving some issuers pause. Before you take the leap, it’s important to understand the key ingredients of a successful metal card program. In this post, we discuss the first of these important aspects: the look.

Two metal cards, one black, one white

Heavy on design

Aside from the noticeable heft and recognizable click when a metal card meets a hard surface, the naturally rich, unique look of the materials is one of the most appealing aspects of these cards. In the past, cards created using alloys offered a more limited design palate. Today, innovations in manufacturing have produced fusions of metal and plastic, allowing issuers to combine many of the same treatments available on plastic with the weight and rigidity of a metal component.

Elaborate design and personalization features offer issuers an emerging world of possibility in metal. The key is to view metal as a starting point – a blank canvas on which to create an immersive, customized cardholder experience that fully reflects your brand. By leveraging distinctive design features like matte coatings, spot UV gloss, and bright color treatments, you can instill your cardholders with a sense of pride and exclusivity. Laser personalization completes the front or back of the card. Want to read more about card design? Click here for our Back-to-Basics blog on Card Design.

Metal Cards Have the Edge

Finally, the design elements for metal cards are completed with a distinctive edge. For encased cards, issuers can take advantage of colored-edge options to complement the design, while the edge-to-edge stainless steel card reveals a gleaming exposed metal edge from its spot at the top of the wallet. Differentiation at the edge can enhance an issuer’s brand identity as well as create a look that stands out.

For financial institutions to remain on the forefront of consumer taste and expectations, they should not only provide the products their cardholders demand but also anticipate their desires through continuous innovation. Disrupting the status quo through the expanding possibilities of a metal card can redefine cardholder preferences.

Building a metal card program with an experienced partner like CPI Card Group enables financial institutions to seamlessly integrate metal cards into their offerings through a team of dedicated client services and research and development specialists. Learn more about CPI Card Group’s full suite of end-to-end solutions for metal cards here.

Written by: Jack Jania, VP of Product Management and Innovation for Secure Cards at CPI Card Group.