Ever since the first modern metal financial card debuted in 1999 in the form of American Express’s (AXP) Centurion Card (aka the Black Card) — which is offered to high-net-worth individuals by invitation only — there has been an allure surrounding premium cards. According to CompoSecure (CMPO) CEO Jon Wilk, even today, banks and other financial service providers are showing increased interest in offering premium financial cards to clients.
“At the end of the day, our issuer partners want to do two things: they want to grow new customers and drive spending in their business,” Wilk told. “And using a metal card as one of the factors, combined with point programs and other parts of their value proposition, we’ve shown over the last five years that it helps drive their business forward in a positive way.”
Wilk cited several financial services and cryptocurrency/fintech companies as being a few of the big names which are showing increased interest in offering premium cards.
“And we’ve seen more and more adoption from folks like JPMorgan Chase (JPM), American Express (AXP), Capital One (COF), and some of the leading fintech names in the world like N26, Revolut, and Crypto.com, as examples,” he added.
CompoSecure is one of the leading designers and manufacturers of premium financial cards in the market. Wilk discuss the company’s public debut on Dec. 28 through a SPAC merger, its latest line of metal credit cards, and the development of its Arculus platform for secure cryptocurrency access and management.
According to U.S. News, metal credit cards trace their roots back to the 1920s when department store shoppers were able to run tabs using metal charge plates or coins. Banks didn’t begin to use plastic cards until the 1950s, with the aforementioned American Express Black Card setting a precedent for premium metal cards just before the turn of the century.
Wilk commented on how the prestige and exclusivity associated with metal cards continues to be a selling point for them today.
“I think the allure is the same thing that is the allure for other premium products in the market,” Wilk said. “Whether that’s the watch that people wear, whether it’s a sweater, a pair of shoes, whatever it is, it’s that luxury or premium feel that people have responded to. And we’ve seen data that shows that it drives the card to become top of wallet, meaning consumers [are more likely to use it].”
In a more modern spin to the premium card concept, CompoSecure’s Arculus Key Card is a metal card that acts as a cryptocurrency cold storage hardware wallet, giving users a secure method to store their private keys and manage their crypto holdings.
And by using the Key Card in combination with the Arculus Wallet App, users can store, buy, swap, send, and receive crypto from their smartphones, all while keeping their keys on their person.
“We’ve got scale manufacturing and expertise in security and chip technology that we’ve leveraged to build a new crypto cold storage product that we call Arculus,” Wilk said. “So [we wanted to leverage] all the great things about our past to open up a new total addressable market that we think is even bigger than the markets that we’ve been attacking to date.”