By: 1 December 2022

The new Wise eco card, which is white and features a small logo, uses less ink than previous iterations

Wise launches environmentally friendly debit card

International money transfer firm Wise has launched an eco debit card in the EU and UK. 

The card, which is white and features a small logo, uses less ink than previous iterations. New materials used in its manufacture contain 80% less PVC (polyvinyl chloride) than standard debit cards, according to Wise. 

Wise also said the environmental impact of the card has been significantly reduced by using polylactic acid (PLA), a sustainable plastic substitute made with renewable bio-sourced resources, such as non-edible corn. 

The material is biodegradable and doesn’t release toxic gases when incinerated, either.  

As modern card authentication moves to tokens and much of the needed information is available online, Wise decided to keep information printed on the card to a minimum.  

As a result, there is no signature panel, PAN number, CVV, expiry date or Visa hologram. One feature that does remain is a notch in the card to help those with visual impairments.  

Nilan Peiris, chief product officer at Wise, commented: “We always speak to our customers before launching new products to the market, and they were very clear they wanted the option of a more environmentally friendly card.”  

The card’s eco credentials don’t end there. The delivery envelope is produced from a responsibly sourced fibre paperboard, and minimal ink is used for printing.  

Wise has replaced the normal packaging details with a QR code that links to a web page with more information.  

On why it still offers a physical card, Peiris said: “Some people can go completely plastic free, using our digital cards and Apple, Google and Samsung Pay, but we know that some people might still need to spend with a physical card.  

“Ultimately, it comes down to choice, and we want to make sure we can offer our customers what they want, now in a more sustainable way.” 

The eco card costs £9 for new customers. Existing customers can upgrade to the new card for £4.50.  

Wise claims to have been carbon neutral since 2020 and is committed to being net zero by 2030.  

Fintechs and financial services firms are increasingly embracing environmentally friendly products and services as customers demand them.  

UK-based Tandem Bank recently launched Tandem Marketplace, a hub that provides its customers with information and resources to make greener living choices, tackle climate change and save money on their energy bills. 

Image: Wise  

Josh Poyser
Josh Poyser is an editor at FinTech Intel. He has written about fintech for several years and appeared at FinTech Connect 2023 on the 'Unlocking Success: The Art of Fintech PR' panel.