Wise debit card and corporate green washing

Originally posted on my Journal [Β§ 2023-02-02 @13:02 +0100]

Recently Wise (an international payment company) started to offer a new debit card to its customers. It is called Wise Eco and is supposed to have green credentials, with the following advantages listed:

Wise page announcing the card

This all sounds like bullshit green washing to me. Some quick thoughts off the top of my head

I am not totally against this product. Physical cards are still needed by many consumers and perhaps some of these changes help but seriously Wise just make this your one physical card offering, and give up on your non-"green" (but actually green in colour) card.

As a side note, I do sort of like the no PAN printed on the card idea. Not for the green aspect but from an improved security perspective. Why are we still printing credit card numbers on all our cards? If you need the numbers you can get them from your bank's website or app, store them in your browser and/or your password manager, or even write them down on a note you keep in a safe place at home. Or if you use Google or Apple Pay, your mobile device has the number as well.

Having the number written on the card stems from a time where it was used as a fallback in cases where the card was non working or damaged but this is exceptionally uncommon (at least in my part of the world) these days, and in any case the consumer could likely retrieve these details from their phone using some of the methods I outlined above. Surely it would be better not to list the number on the card at all and thus make the visual skimming of these numbers impossible.

In fact as a customer of Wise I am sort of tempted to get one of these cards. Though if I do it will be for that last aspect and certainly not because I deluded into thinking that getting yet another card is greener!


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