Should be metal anyway IMO. Credit cards are a bit different, and especially in the US, can often be metal as standard for no additional cost.
We treat credit cards a bit differently in that when they expire, your actual numbers don’t change when you get a new one. I think metal ones are technically able to last a decade before the card issuer has to expire it, but to make the most of that you’re going to really want to approach it like Chase. It’s own separate card details that are different from what’s shown in app and associated with the virtual one.
At the very least I just hope gaining a physical card would mean they get rid of this eye sore:
The Algbra approach to cards is what I’ve been advocating for for years now, and I hope it’s what they do here.
As much as credit cards still occasionally require a physical presence, the ultimate goal should be to phase them out. Keep it virtual with Apple Pay as standard. No physical cards. But offer the option of having one for those who need it.
I’ve needed my physical credit card many times for various things.
A common example for me is living so remote, means we don’t have access to some services here, so what happens is those services will occasionally travel over, and for payment processing, they’ll take an imprint of your credit card to process when they return back the mainland. They’re not allowed to just write the details down. Not sure what they’ll do now it’s no longer embossed!
A similar situation can arise with emergency out of hours vet care. They won’t be able to process payment for emergency treatment because the systems are offline, so you’re often expected to leave your card with them (or at least that’s been my experience both with big chains and small local practices). It’s been mentioned before in other threads, usually in reference to hotels that you can just argue against it, and there’s nothing they can do to force (though I suppose there’s always the risk of refusing your custom). But when my animal is dying and needs life saving treatment right this moment, that’s not going to be on my mind and I’m not doing it. They get my card and can charge whatever they need to save its life.
If you go abroad frequently, many countries don’t have the same infrastructure to support virtual only contactless with a mobile. Without a physical card you just wouldn’t be able to spend on it. It’s very rare in the U.K. now but there are still some shops who only do chip and pin for card payments, like one of the children’s toy shops here. They also enforce a minimum spend and charge an extra 50p and refuse Amex even though they’re capable of taking them, which they’re not really allowed to do. Reported them to MasterCard, but they don’t care.
So when you’re onboarding and you’re signed up with your account open, you’re taken to the card ordering flow. I wish I’d taken screenshots, because it’s quite a nice flow. You get a choice between virtual, which is what they recommend you pick, or the option to choose a physical card instead or in addition to the virtual one if you’d like one. It’s free, but you don’t have to have one, and you’re encouraged not to unless you need it.
The physical card, if you do need one, is made the right way for a non-metal card (biodegradable like Triodos), so is less harmful to the environment than a standard plastic or recycled plastic bank card is.
But Flex isn’t a credit card. People (and in some ways Monzo) seem to want to force it more towards being a credit card, when really Flex and a CC are separate and while they can share some things that make them both better, it worries me the further this goes we just get the worst of both.
Not all of these are credit card only scenarios. Any situation where the item is over £100 and I can’t pay with Apple Pay in person really warrants flex having its own card. Otherwise you sacrifice section 75, or you put it on a typical credit card and forego the benefit of the niche flex fills.
I’m optimistic though and feel like the paths actually meet at the best of both worlds rather than the worst. Or at least that’s how it feels to me, but I know you preferred the first payment up front, so it might not to you.
Without some kind of convergence, or compromise that goes far enough to replace my credit card, flex would just fall off for me. It becomes a very niche product I’d need maybe once or twice a year, and there are better products on the market that fill the same niche. To me it feels like unnecessary finance segregation which makes the managing of it as fragmented as android and just all round harder. I really believe in @Peter_G’s vision of looking at credit in its entirety as it’s own singular thing, and building powerful tools and methods of using it on top, of which one would be Flex, which in many ways mimics how Monzo have innovated in the banking space and where they’ve had the biggest impact.
Monzo really excel in my view when they try to transcend pre existing paradigms that have been set by others and we’ve all grown accustomed to, and I think they can do that with flex and really improve the credit market for everyone. But not if they just stay within the confines of Flex’s niche.
It’ll be a plastic card that looks like the flex virtual card. Because they can’t issue physical cards that look different to the Apple Pay/Google Pay cards (or something like that I believe), and I don’t believe there’s been new assets found for a change in design.
Currently, to me, it’s very niche, and other buy now pay later products fill the same niche and offer better value (except for the 6 month offer).
As Monzo has made changes that sort of move away from that, it’s become less niche and I’ve personally found more use for it. At the same time, I now find it more appealing over other boy now pay later products.