How hard is it to simply write the card details manually. I mean carbon paper is almost as old as the hills too, heck we still use it for lost property receipts at work!
I think this is the main thing, in the past unembossed cards were previously just for Visa Electron and similar ‘ELECTRONIC USE ONLY’ cards which you can’t do things like a pre-with on, the Money has to be taken there and then which means the Car Rental company couldn’t hold funds or charge you fines later. I guess it’s easier for them to just say no unembossed cards rather than them working out which are ‘online only’.
I also imagine that some of this places have sheds in the middle or a random car park and maybe don’t have the connectivity we’re used to and expect.
Purely for aesthetics, the more minimalist the cards are, the better they look to me.
Most embossed cards look very tatty towards the end of their life.
But as has already been said, until retailers that use the embossing catch up to modern tech, we are stuck with them.
Sounds like a chicken and egg problem
For what it’s worth VISA are moving to a “quick scan” view with 4 digits on top of each other as 4 rows (like fintech Monolith has); these aren’t embossed
The banks just need to get rid of the embossed style and then suddenly every merchant has to change
Also against accept all cards rules and the law itself in many countries
And, my experience is that rental companies never had trouble doing pre auths on my visa electron card