The radicant wooden card – your daily companion

18.10.2022
With radicant’s market launch in the course of 2023, you will be able to get a wooden debit card. We aim to bring sustainability to a regular part of all our daily lives: paying for stuff. What are the pros and cons of a card made of wood? We answer your pressing questions in this blog.

To be transparent right from the start: the most sustainable card is no card. There are currently roughly 23 million debit and credit cards in circulation in Switzerland, 99% made of plastic. On average, each adult carries around 3-4 such cards, even though the increasing popularity of mobile payments results in ever lower usage.  

For this reason, radicant plans to follow a “virtual card first” approach with our market launch. All customers will get a virtual card and the option to purchase a wooden card if desired, thus ensuring we don’t produce and ship cards the user doesn’t really want.

 

Makes sense, but is a wooden card really sustainable? 

Compared to a traditional plastic card, a wooden card offers some benefits. The outer layers of the card are made of cherry tree wood (no plastic coating, no paint), sourced from a sustainably managed forest in Austria. The card’s core is made of a combination of a thin metal layer and recycled PETG. This is necessary to hold the card’s chip and antenna (for contactless payments) and to ensure stability. So, at the end of the card’s life, it should be considered normal waste. Nonetheless, this material composition replaces 75% of plastic with a renewable resource. On average, using just one tree trunk, it is possible to produce more than 100,000 cards.

A wooden card is also a statement – at the checkout in the supermarket, in the restaurant, and anywhere else you use it. You are demonstrating that sustainability matters to you. When the card attracts curious glances now and then, or even initiates valuable discussions, these are important contributions to our vision: creating a movement for a more sustainable lifestyle.

 

Are there any downsides? 

Yes, there are. Due to its natural characteristics, wood is more susceptible to damage, especially from humidity. In addition, the wooden card is a bit less flexible and might break in cases of improper treatment. However, with some caution, your radicant card should be your trusted companion for as long as you would expect with a traditional plastic card. 

 

What functionalities does the radicant wooden card offer? 

Our wooden radicant card is a Visa debit card, meaning that it is directly linked to your radicant account and payments will be instantly deducted from your balance.
You can use our card exactly as all other cards. Pay contactless, or depending on the amount, with PIN entry. Cash can be withdrawn from all ATMs showing the Visa logo. In addition, our card also works in the virtual world, for example, when paying for goods online or adding it to Apple or Google Pay. 

Speaking of apps, you can manage our wooden card directly in the radicant app and set up security features such as card blocking and geolocation with just one click. 

The radicant wooden card is the perfect companion for a sustainable lifestyle. How do you like the card? Any experience with it you’d like to share? 

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