Aishwarya Ramesh
Design Digest

Kotak Mahindra Bank introduces minimalist 'customisable' debit cards

The MyImage cards turn the spotlight on design - pushing details like the number, expiry date, etc., to the back.

Kotak Mahindra Bank's new customisable debit cards have a minimalist look and feel to them. Called Kotak MyImage cards, they are available in various themes and designs. What's notable is that the front section has only the bank's name, the card holder's name and the Visa logo.

Visual details such as the digital chip, the number and the expiry date have moved to the back of the card.

On the website, the bank explains that Kotak MyImage is a customised debit card where the customers can choose the design to be printed on their card from the images that are available in the gallery.

Elizabeth Venkataraman, joint president - consumer, commercial and wealth marketing, Kotak Mahindra Bank, says over email that the bank's customers have diverse interests. With the Kotak MyImage debit cards, they can choose to express themselves with a design of their choice, reflecting their preferences and tastes. She adds that these designs cover diverse areas such as sports, adventure, art, music, and also some city and India-specific designs.

Elizabeth Venkataraman
Elizabeth Venkataraman

Kotak has also launched the MyTeam cards as the official partner of six cricket teams - Delhi Capitals, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad. The MyTeam cards are a special cricket edition range of debit and credit cards featuring team visuals of a customer’s favourite team.

Kotak Mahindra Bank introduces minimalist 'customisable' debit cards

"We have now introduced a new card layout specifically for our Image cards with only the Kotak and Visa logos (and the team logo for the MyTeam cards) and the customer name on the front of the card, with all other card details moved to the back of the card. The idea behind the redesign is to give the customers a card with a cleaner, more minimalistic front, where the image has greater space to shine," Venkataraman says.

What do design experts think?

Arnab Ray, Creative Director at Landor & Fitch feels that while the move from the bank is a fresh one, the design feels like a missed opportunity. “It’s a bold move to remove all the elements and emphasise on the design of the cards. The card, in that sense, becomes a canvas for the design to shine through.”

Arnab Ray
Arnab Ray

He adds that there could have been a sense of cohesiveness in the designs since they look like they are scattered around different themes. “Though the new look is bold and minimalistic.”

Ashwini Deshpande, co-founder and director at Elephant Design, says it is always exciting to see a variety of designs to choose from to customise the cards. She adds that most progressive banks offer the possibility of some degree of choice or personalisation in their credit or debit card images, and that it is good to see Kotak doing that too.

"Obviously, it is not all that unique to see that the choice is basically from stock images. It would be nice to see a selection of images that are more ownable to the brand - like maybe colours or values aligned to brand," Deshpande muses.

Ashwini Deshpande
Ashwini Deshpande

She recalls a hoarding by Kotak that featured its brand ambassador Ranveer Singh asking, ‘card mila kay?’ - timed during the week of his wedding. "There was no logo. And yet, it was so easy to get the brand. I do hope we see more such from the brand - even when it comes to cards," she concludes.