The Royal Mint on Friday announced that it will begin production of a solid-gold debit card that will be offered to customers who sign up to its new Raris financial account.
The Mint, which makes and distributes the pound coins used in the UK, said that the card was the world’s first payment card made from a hallmarked precious metal.
Its target market, the mint said, was “those who value high-quality luxury items that make a statement.”
The Mastercard payment card, made from 18-karat gold, will be personalised for each accountholder, whose name and signature will be engraved directly into the precious metal.
Partnering with Accomplish Financial, a company that helps businesses launch their own branded payment cards, the mint will offer an account with limitless spending and zero foreign exchange or transaction fees.
Metal cards have become something of a status symbol for the digital bank generation. Fintech giants Revolut and N26 have recently launched premium stainless steel cards, while Apple (AAPL) in August launched a high-end titanium credit card.
The Royal Mint card will be hallmarked by the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office, which has been hallmarking precious metals for over 700 years.
It will also be made using source-traceable metals and will be certified under the Responsible Jewellery Council’s Chain of Custody. The Royal Mint claims that this is also a world first for a metal card.
The Royal Mint said on Friday that the launch of its first-ever payment card demonstrated its “adaptability to changing consumer demands.”
In addition to making UK bank coins, it is also the world's leading export mint, making coins and medals for around 60 countries each year.
As a government-owned company, it is committed to providing a financial return to the UK government.
“The Royal Mint is constantly innovating, and as the UK’s leading precious metals solutions provider, we are hugely excited to launch the solid gold Raris card in acknowledgement of growing consumer demands for unique and luxury payments cards,” said CEO Anne Jessopp.
Mark Barnett, the president of Mastercard in the UK and Ireland, said that the card provided the “perfect link” between the Royal Mint’s 1,100 years of heritage and the digital world.