Stainless Steel and the Visa Black Card

payments black card value


The New Visa Black card is made of Stainless Steel. I am not here to speak to the services that the card represents, but more of the perceived benefits of the material itself.  Why Steel ?  Why not titanium, or aluminum – really any metal would have done right?   The goal ( my guess ) is that the material selection is about weight, and thus serves as a point of differentiation against other disposable cards that you get in the mail.     And there are other cards made of metal too.

What I find interesting is that the material itself talks about the metal from a mere cleanliness standpoint as opposed to strength.  Its “stainless” steel – which is really about longevity, not power or value. One can argue that the innate ability to prevent oxidation in the long run promises strength, but you get my point.  Its an odd trait for a high end valued card.  After all, I have stainless steel pots.  And, for something that stays in your pocket, the material doesn’t really fit since it doesn’t fight the elements, or take on significant ware & tear.  I looked up the history just for kicks.

By itself – neither of these parts work at their maximum.  A metal card is a mere dollar – which is not a lot compared to what card companies probably make off a typical high end customer.  A black card made of plastic is filmy.  But together they seem to work.  Branding at its best.

This is a lesson about how new luxury goods require a certain care in selection of materials but also the right marketing messages to speak about why they are coveted. Things are not rare unless people know they are scarce.  Perception is everything.  Everything from your UI elements, to the words used in your call to action matter – especially to your customers.