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Eastern Bank Card Customization

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Eastern Bank is the latest financial institution to jump on the band wagon of personalized debit cards for their customers.

Customers have the option of using a family photograph to decorate their debit card, giving them another way to share photos of their pets or children.

Eastern Bank, who is one of Massachusetts largest community banks, launched the customization option last week, offering customers the opportunity to upload almost any picture of their choice and have it placed on their debit card.

Eastern Bank joins a long list of banks and credit card issuers across the United States who offer similar customization options. Eastern Bank’s Vice President Kelly Orlando said:

It gives customers a choice to create a card that is personal. We think they will be more proud and excited to use a credit card they created themselves.

The feature is initially being offered free of charge to customers, but is considering introducing a $5 fee later in the year.

Several major credit card providers including Capital One and Bank of America already offer a similar service to their cardholders and many smaller community banks are now getting in on the action. Eastern Bank uses Ohio vendor DimpleDough to produce the customized cards.

Marketing executive, Lee Poskanzer says that the company is receiving daily enquiries from banks interested in offering the card customization feature to their customers. “It’s almost like a vanity license plate.” says Poskanzer, although he says that popularity varies.

Poskanzer explained that some card issuers who have aggressively marketed the customization feature have seen approximately 10% of customers make use of the feature, while other issuers, such as Bank of America who has offered the service on credit cards since 2006 say only a very small portion of customers have used it despite the fact that it is free of charge.

While many card issuers do offer the service free of charge, others are charging fees of up to $20 for a custom image. Banks are looking for new sources of revenue in the wake of the regulations brought in by the Credit CARD Act 2009 and many who offer the service for free may well introduce a small fee for the service in the near future.

Banks who offer customization on credit and debit cards will not allow simply any images to be used on the cards.

Eastern Bank, for example, has banned submissions that could be considered too political or offensive in order to avoid tarnishing the bank’s own brand, since the bank name and logo also appear on the cards. Kelly Orlando said, “We are independent and don’t want our brand associated with a particular position.”

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