The X Card: bringing together personality and technology

June 22, 2020 by The Qonto Team
carte X qonto

Good news! The X Card is available again. Many of you ordered it when it was released in February. So many, in fact, that we ran out of cards after just 10 days.

To mark its return, we would like to give you a glimpse behind the scenes of the design process.

Inventing the card of tomorrow

Since Qonto’s inception, we have sought to reinvent the business finance management for SMEs and self-employed individuals. And the card is the symbol of this experience.

So in addition to our iconic One Card, we introduced the Plus Card to provide easier transactions for growing companies. But we wanted to go beyond easy payment options.

We wanted to reach out to those of you who love the finer things in life, who are fascinated by curves and materials, who are passionate about design and emotion.

In January 2019, we determined what the card of tomorrow would look like for us. At that time, we were still unsure if it would ever see the light of day. All we knew was that the card had to meet certain specifications:

  • Flexibility: users must be able to rely on the card under any and all circumstances, without having to worry about spending limits or the terms of their insurance policy.
  • Elegance: the card must fit our vision of a streamlined, timeless design.
  • Robustness: the material needs to not only make the card solid, but also give it a strong identity.

As always, before moving on to the next step in the design process, we consulted with our users.

draft x card qonto

Adapting the card (and its features) to meet your needs

A few weeks later, we invited ten or so users to our offices in Paris.

We wanted their input on how to fulfil the first requirement in our design brief: flexibility.

We therefore started by removing all fees in France and internationally and extended the spending limits. We then explored several services before identifying those that would truly support you in running your business.

For you wanderlusters out there, it offers the most exclusive Mastercard insurance policy as well as access to airport lounges. For those of you on the go around the clock, a concierge service is available 24/7.

mock-up X card qonto

Merging technology and design

From the choice of materials to the finishing touches, we had to find a way to incorporate two other important requirements: elegance and robustness. This was another opportunity to demonstrate our signature attention to detail.

The material: 17 grams of stainless steel

The X Card is made from stainless steel to hold up against use and stand the test of time.

This material also gives the card its distinguishing feature: its weight. It is recognizable simply by feel and will quickly take pride of place in your wallet.

Manufacturing: cutting and metal spraying

The card is crafted from several sheets of steel: four to be exact. These layers are superimposed to create the card’s definitive shape.

Once the chip and contactless technology is installed, a tinted metal powder is sprayed onto the card. This is how we achieve that anthracite grey color reminiscent of its raw material: steel.

The finishing touches: engraving

To preserve the card’s refined design, we removed all the bells and whistles.

The Qonto logo is replaced by the more subtle flower. The Mastercard inscription takes on a monochrome design to match the color of the material. Finally, a discreet X is engraved in the center of the flower petals.

The result is an elegant, minimalist design.

details X card qonto

Adding the personal touch

The last step brings your card to life.

The finishes are completed by our partner, Idemia. Our team visited their plant to find out more about the production chain and to get a closer look at the final steps in the manufacturing process.

For every order, our X Cards are stamped with the personal information of their future owner. Once a software model is designed, the name is engraved on the back of the card using laser technology.

v1 packaging X card qonto

Note: here is the first version of our packaging. It has evolved quite a bit!

It is then polished and slipped into its packaging.

The packaging was also subject to months of development and design in our workshops. The texture of the material and the intense black color were carefully selected to create a one-of-a-kind experience of discovery.

The X Card is finally ready to be sent. What comes next is up to you to discover.

The release of this card was made possible thanks to Mike, Arthur, Steve, Lucie, Tom, Chris, Ari & everyone who contributed. And of course, we would like to thank our suppliers Idemia & Burgopak.

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