Today’s payment cards seek to capture the essence of the cardholder’s personal style. At the same time, the card is designed in a way that reflects and promotes the company’s brand. Most consumers use their cards daily, so issuers must ensure continuity between the card’s visual design and functionality, and all other physical and virtual brand touchpoints.

In 2020, the most significant visual card design trends include vertical formats, bold, bright colors and gradients; matte finish; a portrait profile; and simple, “minimalist” design. Metal maintains its popularity within the most exclusive market segments.

  • Bold, bright colors dazzle: The financial card market has traditionally adopted card designs to project a strong, safe and fiscally conservative image. Now, this trend has shifted toward the use of bright, vibrant blocks of color. Driven largely by fintechs and challenger banks, and picked up by larger, incumbent financial institutions, these cards feature simple, soft gradients, with huge pops of bright color. Acorns® announced its bright green debit card in 2018, creating excitement among the micro-investing app’s loyal users.
  • Standing out with a colored core: As issuers trend toward the use of brighter hues, the colored core has also increased in popularity.
  • Metal remains a premium choice: There is a continuing focus on high-end card design with metal cards. Many cardholders are drawn to metal’s weightiness and heft and enjoy the feeling of holding something substantial and sophisticated in their hands and wallets. Innovations in encased metal allow for print capabilities comparable to PVC cards, inspiring issuers to express their brand without the limitation of fully engraved metals.
  • Reorienting the card profile: As dual interface contactless cards have gained popularity, some issuers have begun experimenting with vertical, portrait card orientations. This allows the branding or logo to be visible for the consumer while tapping or waving, and during the transaction when inserted in the terminal.
  • Personalizing the back: One of the latest trends is for issuers to express their brand in full image on the front the card, without the interruption of personalized card data.  The personalized cardholder data can either be minimally featured on the front of the card, or fully featured on the back of the card.

Card design trends in 2020 and beyond capture the cardholder’s style and create opportunities for financial institutions to enhance the cardholder’s payment card experience.  Whether it is bold colors, metal cards, or a vertical portrait card orientation, you have trending choices to enhance your portfolio.  To learn about CPI Card Group’s solutions, click here.

“Acorns” is a registered trademark of Acorns Grow, Inc.

Megan Bogard's Headshot

Written by:

Megan Bogard is the Design Manager at CPI Card Group.