The UK has shocked the world with a bit of controversial news. The British Royal Mint partnered up with Mastercard and Accomplish Financial in order to design and produce the first payment card made from solid gold. The card is made from 18-carat gold and it is estimated that one would need £18,750, or about $23,000, in order to obtain it.
Raris, which is the name of the card, was launched on October 10th. It is, reportedly, a debit card by nature, but it does not have any spending limit, provided you have the money in your account. Furthermore, the card has no transactional fees and no currency exchange fees. It does have a chip, so it is possible to put it in an ATM, though the risk might not be worth it. It also doesn’t work with contactless technology.
Each card is fully customizable and you will have your account number and signature engraved on it. You can even add custom graphic content for an additional fee. It will also be replaced in the case it is stolen or lost, like a regular card. However, a few terms and conditions must be met. You are also granted a 24/7 concierge to assist you round the clock.
Who Would Buy It?
Though the public is shocked and amazed, this project was not a spontaneous one. It took several years from the idea to its fruition. The Royal Mint produced 50 Raris cards in its first batch. It is worth noting that, by purchasing a Raris card, you automatically become an account holder with Mastercard.
James Thorpe from Mastercard was asked by CNN why anyone would be interested in investing in such a card. “If you want something that is unique in this world, there are very few things. But this is a remarkable and valuable product,” Thorpe said.
The Royal Mint has said that it had the elite consumer in mind – someone who values luxury and wants to make a statement. However, one has to wonder: which statement are you making? The official site hints at the card being able to provide its holder with a sense of freedom and claims the functionality and security follow strict standards.
Reactions on social media have been mixed. Some are excited at the prospect of such luxury and innovation, while others are less than thrilled, considering the campaign a joke or an insult. One of the points of criticism found online was pointing out the irony in the fact that someone who would pay $23,000 for an account shouldn’t be trusted with a credit account, which is why the card is probably debit.