A Premium Card as a Lifestyle Sub Brand N26

In 2018, N26 created the first contactless metal card portfolio in Europe, introducing both a physical and digital lifestyle product for an affluent sub-audience. I took a lead role from concepting, packaging, production to partnership management and product positioning.

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N26 Metal Quartz Rose card and complimentary packaging 

Card design wasn’t a priority in the finance sector, and with the rise in mobile payments, people hardly considered that there was something more to be experimented with. I took this as an opportunity, a physical connection to a fully digital product. The N26 card is the most tangible brand touch point and our goal was to elevate this experience creating a more intentional, multifaceted product offering.

As one of my main projects at N26, I took a lead role in these areas:   

Product Positioning 
Product Naming
Visual Product Design 
Product Materials
Partnership Management

Internal Stakeholder Management
UI Assets and Representation

Marketing & Direction
Photography Direction


Product Conception

The decision to introduce N26 Metal was rooted in the research from our N26 Black product. The success of N26 Black showed an emerging, affluent market segment who associate with higher-end lifestyle brands, travelled often and were interested in the peace of mind that a premium product provides. We felt confident that we could create an elevated product that incorporated the needs and interests of this sub-audience.


Design Inspiration

It didn't take long, researching financial institutions for us to realize that inspiration won't be found inside our sector. Instead, we collected physical products that our target audience resonated with. We then separated these objects into the categories of "Materiality", "Functionality" and "Accessibility". This was an important part of the design process. It helped us to understand the desired tactility, level of detail and behavioural functionality we looked to accomplish.

Through rapid design iterations, both physical and digital, we experimented with over 50 designs and continued to come back to the understanding that "premium" lies in the details. 


Design Solution

Ultimately, the final design decision reflected our core values. N26's promise to "simplify banking" was translated into our most premium physical product. Everything that wasn't needed was removed. We became the first bank card to place the name, phone number and personal identification numbers on the reverse of the card creating a clean, unobtrusive final result.

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N26 Charcoal Black - 17.2g, Stainless Steel, Double Hit - Matte Black, NFC enabled 

Connecting Physical & Digital

As mobile payments dramatically increase I am working on how to digitally add value to N26 premium users. Three options that I have come up with is making our card visually change based on phone movement in the Apple Wallet. The second is to add a custom haptic vibration when a payment goes through with a premium N26 card and thirdly to create an "Activate card" feature which is based on proximity of your physical card to your phone using RFID tags. 

Concepting  - adding digital value to a premium product and digital card activation by proximity of card NFC

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Working closely with other product designers and brand designers ensured our product held the same elevated approach across all platforms

One of our proposed N26 Metal sign-up flows

Product Experience

One of the things I am passionate about is overall product experience. Often product deisgners work individually in their cross-functional teams. 

While designing N26 Metal I made a concious decision to work closely across all touchpoints to ensure a cohesive, enjoyable experience. I believe that looking at the customer journey and where our users will interact with a product is key to really understanding and making products enjoyable.  

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I art directed and led a full day photoshoot with an external photographer and lighting speciatist for launch assets.


The release of a minimalist black card did not go without failures, iteration and exploration. When we design products for a premium segment the design and positioning evolves. It becomes clear that we, as a brand take a back seat and focus on the subtle details that make N26 Metal ownable.

Personally, this product has brought so much career growth. I have grown in external partnership and internal stakeholder management, and in articulating design decisions in ways technicians can understand. This, along with all N26 card projects are where my learnings are strongest and I would be happy to share more about this. 

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