So many brilliant women formed my long career in credit that this article in Fast Company tells me that this coming product offering is off the mark. People are people. Pink sequins and compact mirror? Huh?
- Hey Ladies! Guess what? Our dreams have come true!
- There’s now a new women’s only credit card on the market that doubles as a mirror! Can you imagine?
- We can now whip out the card to pay for our pumpkin spiced lattes, then use it to touch up our lipstick!
- And also, just to emphasize that the card is exclusively for women, it is called Sequin! Because, duh, women love sparkles.
There are so many laws and regulations that govern fairness that this is silly. A credit card that carries a mirror so women can concurrently primp and charge. The article cautions:
- Many women will not be able to get past the stereotypes that this new credit card promotes through its design and branding: Not all of us want to be reduced to this sparkly, compact-mirror carrying version of womanhood.
- But if they stick around long enough to consider the premise of the card, they might find it equally problematic.
- The Sequin card is the brainchild of Vrinda Gupta, who spent many years working at Visa.
- In her time there, she discovered that women have more anxiety about signing up for credit cards than their male counterparts, which makes them more likely to sign up for debit cards instead.
Fairness? We have a regulation (or two) for that:
- As recently as the 1970s, credit card companies refused to issue women cards without their husband’s signature, and it wasn’t until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 that it became illegal to refuse a credit card to a woman because of her gender.
- Gupta’s goal with Sequin is to create a company that makes credit cards feel more welcoming to women and to offer rewards that are more relevant to women’s lifestyles.
In a first reading, I thought this was “fake news.” Perhaps running with a tagline like “Designed by women, not bankers.” Or perhaps a story on segmentation, but remember, you can’t make decisions based on age, credit, religion, or sex.
The mirror on the card might be important to some. Perhaps the selfie mode on your phone would fill the bill. But, pink cards? Mirrors? Just for Women? Sounds a bit insulting.
Overview by Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group