Cool Bank Microsite: ‘Card Artist’

The ‘Card Artist’ service allows you to customize the design of Bank Audi credit and prepaid cards to create a unique, distinctive card that reflects your personality and interests.

Who knows how long physical debit, credit and prepaid cards will be around. If those enthusiastic about digital wallets are right, it won’t be for very long. But in the meantime, why not let consumers design their own cards, like Bank Audi?

They built an entire microsite that lets customers do just that: build and completely customize their credit and prepaid cards. The “Card Artist” site is about as slick as they come, with a smooth interface and intuitive design tools. You pick your card type (credit or prepaid), type your name, and upload your photo/background image. You can scale, flip, rotate and recolor uploaded images. Really, about the only limitation is your imagination.

The site also boasts a step-by-step guide, a fairly thorough set of FAQs, and a photo gallery with 37 backgrounds people can use in their card designs.

Bank Audi says “Card Artist” is part of a broader strategy to target youth through the internet and social media. The bank wants to tap Gen-Y’s sense of independence and self-expression, and from the looks of the “Card Artist” microsite, they seem to be succeeding.

Bank Audi has a special Facebook page dedicated to the “Card Artist” initiative where they’ve hosted a number of design contests. For the launch of “Card Artist,” Bank Audi gave $6,000 for the best gift card. That drew in 2,000 ‘Likes.’ Nearly two years and few promotions later, the “Card Artist” Facebook page now has over 44,000 ‘Likes.’

Reality Check: If you’re going to pay for ‘Likes,’ at least have consumers interact with your products/services somehow, as Bank Audi is doing.

Currently, “Card Artist” can be used by Bank Audi customers and employees to either redesign their existing card or to buy a gift card. But Bank Audi says people will be able to design and apply for new credit cards soon.

The Web Marketing Association presented Bank Audi’s agency partner, Cleartag, with a 2012 WebAward for Outstanding Achievment in Web Development.

The “Card Artist” microsite has a number of design tools that will feel familiar to anyone who’s used programs like PowerPoint or Adobe Photoshop.

Bank Audi lets users add a line of type to their card. In The Financial Brand’s test of “Card Artist,” we added the line “Preferred VIP Customer” to impress grocery clerks with a cool company-branded card.

Why This Can Be Such a Powerful Marketing Tool

Financial marketers can use consumer retail psychology to their advantage. People can design their card (the fun step) before filling out the application form (the boring step). Most card issuers stick an application in front of prospective customers immediately. This is a horrible way to kick off the relationship: “Thank you for your interest in becoming our customer. Now, here’s some paperwork.” And the very nature of an “application” suggests applicants could be rejected, so many choose to abandon the process.

But a system like “Card Artist” can create a more traditional online retail shopping experience: figure out what you want, then click “checkout.” By the time you get to the account application, it feels more like you’re providing a shipping address, just like at “Well duh, now that I’ve designed my card, I’d like you to ship it to me!” Users will merrily fill in the blanks, not realizing (or caring) that it is a cleverly disguised credit card app.

Even though Bank Audi rolled out its “Card Artist” application back in 2011, they continue to promote it with a prominent banner ad on the bank’s website homepage.

Bank Audi created a special Facebook page just for the launch of it “Card Artist” website. As of the publication of this article, the page had accrued over 44,000 ‘Likes.’

Video Demo

Bank Audi – Card Artist
A brief YouTube video overview of how “Card Artist” works.

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