Monzo investor card - design concept (By Brice Corbin)



Carbon fibre would be better. Stronger, lighter and more premium. It can be still plastic that looks like it.

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Could always have a QR code?

Could do, but if the aim is to improve the visual design, I’m not sure that would do it for me! Though given that Monzo control both the card and the app, they could have the card number printed somewhere in a nice font, and programme the app to recognise it (i.e. they no longer have to worry about generic card number recognition by the OS so there’s more flexibility).

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I think a small QR on the rear would be tidier than a card number.

That said, I guess we would still need the card number for online payments on websites that don’t take Google pay or PayPal.

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Yeah, I don’t think the card number can disappear, there are too many times when you need it (also ordering over the phone). I assume the aim is to get away from the standard, blocky, inflexible embossed card number and be able to apply a bit more intentional design to the number.


Very valid point!

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Just to be clear, our current setup is 100% intentional.

There are some easy-to-miss benefits in using good old OCR embossed type. One is to make the card camera-friendly (already commented before, maybe not that important of a reason anymore). It also makes instantly obvious what’s the front face of the card, which is important when you need the slot-in the card in an ATM or POS (even though some machines have now readers in both sides). Another one is that in some places (this happens abroad mostly) having raised numbers in a card acts as a way of saying “this is a real banking card” (I never got to understand where this originally came from, maybe to protect from criminals who clone cards?). To give you an example, my bank in Spain would use non-embossed really nice looking card numbers and you wouldn’t believe the number of times I got my card rejected (a couple times in airplanes) because of this reason, people saw my card as something that couldn’t be trusted… funny enough that bank now uses embossed numbers again.

What we need to figure out now is if these reasons are not that strong enough any more and we rather take the trade-off and go for a better looking card accepting that we might be making it slightly worse for certain use cases. We also need to consider if people will understand that Monzo is a bank if our card looks “too different” from other cards. A great thing about this is that with other players pushing the envelope in this space customers and retailers are getting more comfortable at using and trusting different kind of cards so that would also give us more freedom to do nice iterations without breaking the function for the sake of the form.

These kind of trade-offs are what the job is about. A great thing about Monzo though is that we’re now large enough to be able to produce a small-ish batch of cards (even though they’re still painfully slow to prototype and produce) with a different setup, give them to customers and learn from their actual experiences, think about it like some sort of “beta program” where you can sign up and get a futuristic-looking card that might give you trouble from time to time like any other beta software.

I’m so excited about this!


Great write up and explanation. This sounds fantastic.

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I like the slightly different colour for Joint Vs Personal

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I love the sound of that! :smiley: It’d be wicked to see how Monzo iterate their current card design (I love the current card but that’s not to say I wouldn’t love v2 :hot_coral_heart::slight_smile:)

Hopefully some prototype designs get shared with the community along the way too :smiley:

All sounds very exciting, eager to see how far you push the boat out in terms of card design :sunglasses::tada::monzo:


Amazing! I think @nexusmaniac summed it up better than I could - but I’m very keen to see something like this! :hot_coral_heart:

This makes me wonder a bit about technical/policy/legal limitations on the number of cards issued on one account. In particular could you have two - a beta card plus a fall back standard in case of problems? :thinking:


Scrap numbers bring in QR codes for activations

We discussed this above - number is still used for web and phone payments.

What if the number and CVV were only available in the app? :thinking:

(Not recommending it, just wondering about the practicalities…)

:credit_card: :monzopride:


pretty sure I’ve seen someone say that mastercard dictates those have to be somewhere on the card


Be interesting to see what the MasterCard standards are - and if one of the fastest growing banks in Europe might have any sway in rewriting them / getting special treatment… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


This looks so nice! Love the use of the logo instead of the word.

This would be a cool thing to happen.

It’s also the exact same colour as Debenham’s gift cards.

Absolutely love this design, the actual version is pretty bland really. Wish I hadn’t seen this one first!