I was very happy to see the iOS Monzo app contained an announcement about new personalized US cards to replace “Monzo Beta” cards. Hopefully this is foreshadowing some upcoming Monzo USA developments.
I got excited then until I noticed this was in the USA category.
Personalised cards for us in the UK are custom background images or colours - but I guess you’re referring to simply having your name on them
Yes, we still haven’t even gotten to the point of having our names on our cards yet. Although once we do, the only way to tell apart a UK card from a US card is that a UK card is the same color all the way through while the US card is only coral on the front and back, but white through the middle.
I didn’t know that either. I’ve learnt a lot today
Won’t there also be other subtle differences, like a different BIN?
Different BIN, but you’d have to have remembered which is which beforehand. And different customer service number on the back. That’s it as far as I can think of, unless you’ve upgraded your UK account to Plus or Premium.
Thomas from the US team – glad to see you spotted that we’re releasing new cards. We’re writing up a blog post now with some more information about them, which should be published soon. In the meantime here’s a sneak peek…
ps The new design are definitely fully hot coral from front to back!
Awesome, thanks for the update! That being said, am I correct in noticing that the lack of embossed numbers?
Slowly, the number of cards with embossed numbers in my wallet dwindles… Looks like it’ll eventually be down to my Chinese credit card and my no-rewards Barclaycard for when I end up in situations like small independent hotels in Japan that haven’t gotten with the times (that was a fun time at check-in).
Yeah I just got my card in the mail today, and it looks exactly like the one they posted. And my name and card numbers are on the back.
Do embossed numbers practically matter? I always thought they were simply a relic of the days when credit card imprinters were used.
It’s also that some businesses still use imprinters. Last year, a small, family-owned hotel in central Tokyo surprised me with this when I got out my credit card to put down the initial deposit.
“Ah, we don’t take that.”
“You don’t take AmEx?”
“No, we take AmEx, but not the flat cards.” After I looked at the receptionist strangely, he showed me the imprinter and said something about skimming (either that they had fallen victim to it before or that they were worried about it possibly happening, I’m not sure because I wasn’t quite fluent in Japanese). At that point all of my cards with increased travel rewards were flat-printed- AmEx Platinum, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Citi Costco. Only my Barclaycard Aviator, Barclaycard Ring, Revolut, Monzo, and credit union cards were still embossed, and Barclaycard is starting to flat-print the Aviator card now (expired card was replaced with a flat-printed one a few months ago).
Very interesting !
Is it just me who knows these as “zip-zap” machines?
Last time I used one was in a Sheffield restaurant about 7 years ago when their till system went down. Five months later I wondered what the heck the transaction was when it finally appeared on my statement, having not realised it hadn’t appeared at the time and forgotten all about it.
Japan is just wary of credit cards in general, as they aren’t so widely-used there.
You were probably just unlucky to find one of the few places in the world where not having an embossed card actually mattered!
There is an argument that all adoption of new things follows as “long tail” adoption trajectory with stragglers towards the end who, for a variety of reasons, refuse to follow trends or adapt their practises until forced. Usually, a crucial tipping point does act as the catalyst for them to eventually change. So removing the embossing from enough cards would force a place like that to take “flat” cards - as otherwise, practically speaking, they couldn’t take cards and their business would suffer.
The difficult part is you have to reach a critical mass of flat cards before this happens - so you really rely on big banks with the majority of market share driving the change.