Large chip in card

Other debit cards eg natwest and HSBC have a smaller chip. Is their a reason for this
Sorry if been discussed before

I’ve actually been wondering this myself for some time. I’m guessing that they may be different spec (I.E, one has more memory and is slightly more expensive…?).

On my Monzo card, however, the larger chip area has a nice pattern on it - on my other cards with large chips, this area is actually quite boring.


I’d be interested in this too. As far as I know, there’s no disadvantage to the smaller chips. Smaller contactless chips are fairly new, only appearing in the last couple years. I imagine getting the necessary radio components miniaturised enough at a cost low enough to make sense (remember, it needs to be just pennies as it’s one component of the whole card cost) took some time when combined with memory, processor, etc (contactless magstripe cards with no contact pad used a tiny chip inside, but they were much simpler in the processing, etc, done).

That said, I think market forces likely mattered too - these things aren’t that complex, and I wonder if there was really demand for smaller chips until tiny 6-pin chips started getting used in SIM cards (for nano-SIMs) and on US, non-contactless cards. Then people saw the contact pad could be shrunk, so more market demand.

The chips on my other bank/building society cards are smaller than Monzo’s, but the chip in my Royal Bank of Scotland card is the same size as Monzo’s.


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The RBS chip is an 8-contact chip. The Monzo one is a six-contact but with a contact pad almost as large as the 8-contact. There are really only two contact pad designs for these oversized six-contact chips, the circular one in the Monzo card (and old Metro Bank [switched to a smaller contact pad] cards and old Wells Fargo [USA, switched to a smaller contact pad and also got rid of contactless] cards) and a convex one that I’ve seen in Gemalto cards.