Card design

I am surprised we still bother with the embossed digits anymore. I saw some interesting ideas where card number is not even printed landscape but his portrait at bottom to fit in with chip/pin style usage.


One possible reason is many retailers (Carphone Warehouse, Currys, Argos, Next) have card imprints (not sure what they are called) for when their payment system goes down and I guess bank do not like hand written card numbers due to fraud and/or poor hand writing etc.


There is also the fact that many libraries like Card.IO simply do not work with non-embossed cards.

and maybe embossed is good for visually impared as has feel the numbers they can not see

I’d prefer non embossed. Who is going to take an imprint for a pre-pay card? There might not be any funds on the card.

This is for when :mondo: start to offer current accounts and not pre-paid cards.

I’d still prefer non embossed. Is embossed is a requirement of VISA / MasterCard as seems to be the norm. I also doubt many retailers would take imprints if electronic payments were down as reduced security and no check of available funds.

The problem with non-embossed cards is that the numbers wear off after heavy use and make it hard to read them if you ever need to type them in for online shopping, at least when embossed, even if the silver paint rubs off you can still read the numbers clear as day.
My flat mate had a Santander debit card which was was non-embossed and he couldn’t see his card number at all after a few months.


I used to work at a large chain restaurant whose card machines went down for several days. They had a choice between turning away customers who couldn’t pay by card or taking the imprints & went for the latter.

I guess the assumption is that people are generally honest and although you may take a loss on some of the payments, it’s better than losing a significant amount of business.

@anon44204028’s argument about the visually impaired is an important one too.

This may not be something that :mondo: gets to choose either, if it’s a MasterCard requirement…


Dixons Carphone does

I know this thread hasn’t had any activity in a while, but I just wanted to share this.

I just signed up for a bank account in Dubai called “Liv.”. It’s similar to Monzo, but based in Dubai. It is owned by one of the largest banks here, Emirates NBD, but has opened up a new digital only version for younger customers. What I wanted to show you was the design of their card. I know the issues of not embossing the numbers of the card are, but it would be worth it for this beautiful design, in my opinion. Have a look:

The photos don’t really do it justice. The colours look really nice in person. What I think is most important is that the front only shows the customer name and the Visa logo. There are no numbers, just large graphics. The number is along the back. I’m not sure if this is what you meant, but it looks amazing.


The readability of the card number, for online transactions may not be such a big deal, if we get virtual card numbers too.


One of my accounts, an old childhood Halifax Bank Easycash account, has a non-embossed card. The numbers tend to rub off eventually and you have to angle the card to actually see them if at all.


The Virgin Mastercard Credit Cards are all non-embossed and with no details at all on the front of the card. Customer name, card number etc are all printed on the back.

All to show off their anarchy in the uk designs!


My virgin credit card is embossed… wonder if that’s only for that design.