Embossed Cards

Lots of discussion around this in various threads, but my comment didn’t really fit in any of them…

Looking to hire a car in Croatia, and found this little bit of info quite interesting…

Please note:

This company will not accept prepaid, recharge or virtual credit cards - or any card on which the relevant characters are not raised (embossed).

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Sounds like somebody’s still got one of these…



I would assume, they take an impression of your card for fraud purposes. In some countries fraud is higher, so by taking an impression, they can prove to the bank they took the card. It’s easy to clone a card, but not easy to clone a card that is embossed.

I can’t think of any unembossed credit cards.

Debit cards, yes - Starling & Monzo.

My virgin credit card is unembossed.
All details on the back like a starling card


The (new) bunq Travel Card.

Technically not a credit card, but a debit card with a credit card bin :blush:

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Virgin Atlantic credit cards are unembossed. As is the metal Amex Platinum (though technically that’s a charge card).

I know, but has been specifically promoted as a card that could be used for car rental.

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Didn’t hire a car when I went to Dubrovnik, but Starling card was accepted everywhere.

My Jaja Card is unembossed with the details on the back of the card.


Amex metal Platinum charge card

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My NatWest current account card is not embossed and I hate it, wish it was embossed. :stuck_out_tongue:

Had to complete a manual card transaction in TK Maxx couple of months ago when their online systems went down. Back to the future :grinning:

Just booked a car rental for Cape Town using JaJa. Booking went through fine with the dynamic CVV. However all the rental companies on the site I used had the un-embossed cards not accepted for pickup warning. JaJa may want to reconsider that.

Future of debit cards is unembossed (and one next step is a dynamic CVV). Even RBS and Santander are going this way.

Suggestion of having a fintech credit card startup ‘consider embossed cards’ is similar to a request for using magswipe in 2010 and chip-and-pin in 2015.

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Worth feeding that back to Jaja via the app - there are a number of countries which expect cards to be embossed.

Even in the UK, unembossed cards traditionally only used to be issued to those with poor credit

Eventually cards won’t even have numbers, so not sure anyone is going to be bringing back embossed cards.

Retailers and rental companies will have to adapt not the other way round.

Embossing is an old fashioned in secure way or capturing card details. So it isn’t going to remain for ever.


I’m quite happy to have no card information at all on a card, simply a chip and contactless function…

I know however I’ll be in the minority considering the shortness of smartphone batteries and annoyance of logging in to certain banks online though.

I may do that. While I agree with @cap that non embossed is the future it isn’t functional for the present if you are travelling
and may need a car.

As I have to carry an embossed card I’ll be leaving the JaJa card at home until the rental companies catch up. Their MO at the moment is to emboss the multi ply agreement with the card so all copies have the card details.