When Square first unveiled its cash card earlier this year, the move had many people scratching their heads. What could a forward-thinking mobile payments app possibly want with an old-school plastic debit card?
Well, if nothing else, the cards are giving the San Francisco company some free social media advertising.
Their sleek, minimalist design and customizable face seem to have sparked something of an artistic trend on social media.
In designing the plastic rectangles, Square forwent all the usual identifying markers of a credit card card number, expiration date, printed name for stark black coloring interrupted only by a Visa logo, an RDIF chip, and a laser printed signature in the corner.
But, as Square’s more creatively inclined users are demonstrating, that space doesn’t necessarily have to contain a signature the company will print pretty much any drawing you submit within the bounds of decency.
Cardholders are posting custom designs adorned with everything from cartoon cats to shruggies to outdoor scenes. In fact, the corner canvas has become one of the biggest draws of the cards.
“The option to put my own custom drawing [or] signature was a huge selling point,” Kelly Robotoson, a freelance artist in Seattle, said in a Twitter direct message. He decided to tag his card with an anthropomorphic mountain.
To be clear, Square’s offering isn’t actually a debit card in a traditional sense. The cards don’t connect to a bank account but rather allow their holders to unload any balance accrued within the Square’s money-transfer app.
They seem to have inspired some of Square’s competitors. In the weeks since the card officially launched, Apple and Venmo have each announced their own plastic cards as accessories to their transfer payment services.
Check out some of the most original wallet-borne art pieces below: