Why the sync. X card is different from everything else on the market.
We hope that you can see that sync. is doing things differently.
We want to make the banking experience simple, beautiful and secure, all while remaining eco-friendly. That is why we wanted to break from convention when we created the sync. X card.
Our first priority was security. Did you know that data breaches exposed 4.1 billion records in the first half of 2019*? Data hacks are now happening at high profile companies that millions of people use, like easyJet and Capital One.
It might seem like a hack at a major company has nothing to do with you, but it can have a big impact on consumers. For example, if you buy something from a company online in March and the company is hacked in June, your personal information and card details could end up in the hands of the hackers.
We wanted to help reduce that risk for our customers. If a website you have used is hacked and your card details are stolen, we want to do everything we can to ensure you won’t lose money. We took a deep look into card security to find a way to make this happen, and we found that CVC numbers were the answer for two reasons.
Firstly, we looked at CVC numbers printed on cards. Card security codes, or CVC numbers, were originally designed to be a PIN number for online transactions. People always say ‘don’t write your PIN number down’, but the CVC is printed clearly on every card, meaning they can be used by thieves if your card is lost or stolen.
To get around this, we wanted to stop printing CVC numbers on the sync. X card. It was a challenging process with many obstacles and it took nearly an entire year of working with our partners to achieve, but we did it. The only place to find your sync. CVC number is now safely hidden in the sync. app, which you need biometric authentication or your passcode to access.
Secondly, card numbers can be stolen online. We created a system to allow you to change your CVC number in the app as many times as you like to protect against online threats. We recommend you change your number if you become suspicious about a site after you have made a purchase. To be extra safe, you can change it after each and every transaction.
For example, without sync., you could book a flight with an airline. The company is hacked two months after you made a booking and your card details are exposed, which means you might have to deal with lost money, stressful calls with your bank, and have to wait for a replacement card to come through in the post.
With sync., you could use one of your online sync. cards to pay for your flight with the airline. All the card details are safely kept inside the sync. app. When you hear the company has been hacked, you go to your sync. app and delete the online card you used. Just like that, your card is gone, your balance is safe, and you can create a new one with completely new numbers. No stress, no lost money, and no waiting.
Read more about design and being eco-friendly below.
Once we were happy with our new security features, we looked at the card design. Using your sync. X card is meant to be an aesthetically pleasing experience from the first tap of the app to the swipe of a card. We already knew we weren’t going to feature CVC numbers, but we wanted to go even further to create an innovative new look for the sync. X card.
Traditional debit and credit cards have followed the same design for decades. The number, expiry dates, your name, the company logos and the chip are all on the front. On the back there’s a space for a signature, your security code, and lots of little T&Cs and other necessary information.
It’s the same format that we’ve all known. It isn’t exciting or innovative, so we knew it wasn’t right for sync.
We started with lots of bold new designs. A fully black card, a flash of fluro, our signature X. We flipped the card around so we could keep all the important information on one side, leaving us with an entire side of the card to design.
However, there was one problem – the magnetic stripe. It’s needed for swipe transactions across the world where chip and PIN isn’t always accepted, such as in countries like Japan. This meant it was 100% necessary, but the thick black line would ruin our design. Our partners told us it was impossible; we would have to design around the magnetic stripe.
But we wouldn’t take no for an answer. We didn’t want to remove the stripe – just make it invisible. After many more months of development and many dead-ends, we finally had our design with a hidden magnetic stripe and no CVC number.
After overcoming so many challenges, there was one big consideration still to make – our carbon footprint. Social responsibility is hugely important to us at sync. In our blog about pollution from the banking industry, we talked about how thousands of plastic cards are printed and sent out to customers all over the world every day. We didn’t want to be part of the problem, so we looked at how we could do things differently.
Our current packaging is recyclable and we are working hard to make our payment cards out of recycled PVC. We have done a lot of research into different ways to be more eco-friendly, and we have decided that using recycled materials is most effective because it reuses materials that would otherwise sit in landfill.
We also created online cards. This means that not every sync. user will need to order a physical card. Instead, they can use their card digitally to shop online. Plus, they can be activated immediately so there is no need to wait for a physical card to arrive in the post. There is a lot more to tell you about online cards. Keep an eye out for our blog dedicated to them coming soon.
*according to Risk Based Security.
Let’s make a difference.
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