Game maker Nintendo is releasing new prepaidcards in Japan that show how the cards themselves can become a wayto interact with customers by providing value. According to thetech site ubergizmo.com, Nintendo plans to sell a card that willinteract with customers.
Of course, this prepaid card is not just avehicle to carry virtual credit, but also comes with additional funthat is known as “Asoberu Omaketsuki Nintendo Prepaid Card”, whereyour card will come “alive” when you hold your Nintendo 3DS overthe card, to see one of the Super Mario characters printed therepop out, moving and reacting to your voice (Japanese commands only,I presume). Expect these cute prepaid cards to hit Japan later thisApril 23rd.
While this is probably one of the most advanced uses of a card todeliver value, issuers can design their cards to deliver ancillarybenefits beyond just the value associated with the cards. What manyissuers don’t seem to have realized yet is that they can use thepower of their brand and content that they own to enhance the valueof their cards, whether plastic or digital.
Imagine, if you will, a gift card for a hardware store designed tohelp someone complete a specific project. A plastic ‘deck builder’scard’ could contain a QR code that sends a pdf of deck plans to acardholder. This might be more practical to include with a virtualcard. The gift card could be to someone who says, “Hey, I know youare building a deck – here is a card for supplies and how-to videoto help you get started.”
For a transit card, the link might take a rider to maps orschedules – or it might be a way for a rider to download a mobileapp to pay for future tickets. For an incentives card, a link mightgo to an article on how to be more successful in business. “Goodjob on meeting your sales goals, here’s a link to an article on howto be even more effective.”
Additionally, a card might serve as a ticket into a special event.”Our summer line is launching next week and those who have thiscard can get into a special shopping event this week for the firstopportunity to buy the latest looks.” Now the card itself has valueand can drive in-store foot traffic in a way that is likely to leadto lift.
Mercator hopes to do additional research on card design in thecoming future. If you have an interesting story to share, pleasecontact me at the link below.