Bio-Sourced Credit Cards Developed from 100% Renewable Resources

Bio-Sourced Credit Cards Developed from 100% Renewable Resources

January 21, 2016         Written By Bill Hardekopf

The “green” movement is spreading to the credit card industry.

For the last five years, Netherlands-based digital security provider Gemalto has been working on an eco-friendly payment card solution to replace traditional plastic cards. The company estimates that the seven billion credit and debit cards on the market today make up 35,000 tons of plastic, which could be eliminated with the Eco Card. Made from 100% renewable raw materials, this bio-source card design operates just like any other card would, minus the hefty carbon footprint.

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The Eco Card originally came out in 2010, making its premier as a postal payment card for Germany’s Deutsche Post DHL. Gemalto continued developing the card, and in March 2015, the company released the first Eco Card with contactless payment options. Most recently, the Dominican Republic bank Banco Popular Dominicano adopted the Optelio EMV bank card as part of its payment card line.

The bio-sourced cards are designed to work with the latest EMV and smart chip technology, making them as secure as they are eco-friendly. The addition of near field communication features on the cards means consumers can simply hold their cards near the reader to make a payment. There is no swiping or dipping necessary.

This is not the first “green” card to be introduced into the card industry. The Sustain:Green MasterCard issued by Commerce Bank was introduced over a year ago.

As innovative as these eco-friendly cards may be, there is a question of how much demand there may be in the future, particularly in the United States. Americans are adapting to mobile wallets, where consumers store and transfer their payment information digitally. This could minimize the need for payment cards, which could lessen the market for bio-sourced credit and debit cards.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of January 21, 2016. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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