Fintech, News, Technology

TreeCard’s Recyclable Wooden Debit Cards

Kenton Reynolds

Kenton Reynolds, Writer

TreeCard have produced a debit card made completely of wood that could make a huge impact for the environment.

A plastic debit or credit card weighs about 5.02 grams and has a CO2 footprint of 21 grams which is pretty small. Especially when you consider that this equates to about 5 bank checks and 13 dollar bills. The paper insert that accompanies a new credit card adds roughly 50% to the card’s footprint which shows how small the effect of a card is. However, this changes when cards are used on mass. In 2018, there were 1.12 billion credit and debit cards in use. The sum of their effects adds up to a carbon footprint of about 235,200 tonne, the mass of over 200 houses. The cards aren’t recyclable through most curbside collections either, meaning most consumers simply throw away their plastic cards.

There have been some changes made though, with the appearance of metal cards like those provided by N26. These cards are more durable and long lasting – meaning less wasted cards that are thrown away or broken – but also means that when they do have to be disposed of, they can be recycled. The cards, however, are described as a “premium” product and that’s because the card will cost you about £15 each month.

The UX Connections View

Chris SainsburyChris Sainsbury
Managing Director

Fintechs are coming up with new ways to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded marketplace – and wooden, sustainable cards is the latest example of this. Altough UX (user experience) was originally a differentiator, it is increasingly becoming a hygiene factor (basic requirement) and so they’re looking for new ways to innovate. If you’d like help excelling and innovating with your fintech UX, please get in touch with UX Connections.

TreeCard have produced an even more elegant and free solution with their wooden card. The card comes from sustainably sourced FSC cherry wood which is used to create a card that has a unique wood grain. Not only is your card more ethical with its design but all of your purchases will have positive externalities too. 

This is because TreeCard make their profit by charging merchants rather than you as they use interchange fees. 80% of each fee is then donated to Ecosia who aim to plant trees worldwide which means every $60 you spend will plant a tree.

Looking back at our carbon footprint that we started with: we have got rid of the plastics used in the production of the card; recycled the card itself; and now we are planting trees to move towards a carbon neutral footprint.

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