The world of finance is known for its ups and downs, so the latest trend in financial cards should come as no surprise: cards are going vertical.

The drivers of this trend are increasing competition and technology shifts, as well as financial institutions seeking ways to differentiate their brand with programs that build cardholder trust and loyalty.

As fintechs continue to disrupt banking through automation of financial services and trendy card launches, traditional financial institutions have been taking note, and are bringing new innovations to their services and offerings. And while digital payments generate buzz, financial institutions are investing more than ever in their payment card offerings. They are moving away from traditional embossing and venturing into more innovative, branded and personalized cards to differentiate their brands and create the ultimate cardholder experience.

Today’s payment card technology is built for brand differentiation and the ultimate cardholder experience

Traditional embossing technologies required very specific and industry regulated personalization. With flat card printing, the sky is the limit to creativity and differentiation. The location of the cardholder data can be on the front, back, left, right, big, small…you get the idea. The fonts can be anything the design team chooses. And the colors, well they can be accomplished with a variety of technologies in every color including metallics. Flat card printing has also opened the door for a creative and affordable differentiator – vertical or portrait orientation.

Vertical cards are the ideal mobile payment card companion

Vertical card orientation is a logical move in today’s tap-and-go payment motion and is a sure way to stay ahead of this growing trend and differentiate yourself. Both a contactless tap and a chip card insertion are almost exclusively done with the card held vertically. Just think about it. I would wager that most of your photos on your phone are taken in portrait layout. Because all cell phones have been designed for use vertically, this orientation for payment cards aligns with our daily activities. And some banks have begun to put this logic into practice. Starling Bank, for example, looked at how people use cards today when designing their next generation of payment cards, which are – you guessed it – vertical.

As new card designs, technologies, substrates and orientations infiltrate the financial issuance market, shifts in card delivery trends are sure to follow. It’s important when building a brand experience to flow that brand all the way through. For a card package, this means that not only should the card be oriented vertically, but it should be delivered to the cardholder as such, placed vertically on the carrier with a vertical label for improved readability and experience.

There are so many opportunities to differentiate financial cards, but in order to do so, organizations must be prepared with the right technology that offers the right capabilities and flexibility to support whatever card issuance needs there are to stay competitive.

Are you positioned “vertically” for continued growth, brand recognition and cardholder loyalty? Download our guide to learn more: