Blind isn’t the only kind of sight impairment. It can also be accidental damage: raised letters don’t rub off. I’ve had that happen to nonsense Electron cards far too often, especially since Chip and PIN became ubiquitous.
Proposing I turn my card upside to be safe is not a justified response. My Amex has its CVV number on the front too and it creeps me out; it stays in my wallet at home now. ATM card reader attachments, private cameras, and other sly ways of peeking at your info become very easy with it is all on one side. For card scanning to prove ownership, I now need to edit a PNG after I scan it. It’s added hassle when there wasn’t any before.
Raised lettering is also important for card impressions and being accepted in as many places in the world as possible. You can’t use any service which wants to take an impression of the card. This is no longer common in West and East Coast main cities or EU anymore, but smaller businesses in the Midwest, Mexico and Canada, especially car rental companies and hotels, will not serve you without a carbon copy. @mike2 makes some good points about it being an important fallback, too, especially in places following less cutting-edge practices.
Even if they do in the end accept it, I don’t want the 10 minute argument about why they should accept my bank card.
It has been ten years since going there but I imagine this would also become an issue in a number of Southeast Asian, South American, and African countries. China, at least ten years ago, took carbon copies of cards religiously. It was part of their standard merchant protection whenever you used the train or went to a mom and pop restaurant. (I do hope that has changed, because it was bloody annoying!)
My main objection to the new card, though, is that it is a downgrade from the standard debit card banks issue worldwide and merchants expect – in fact, it looks like a third-party issued prepaid card now. If the new Starling card was the standard format of an Amex, Bank of America, or HSBC card, I would have to swallow its inconveniences for the sake of practicality, but this situation is the opposite; Starling is not HSBC and making a new card format only hurts us, its loyal customers, when we travel far and wide.
Standing out as a challenger bank is hard going – I use Starling as my main account now as show of support – but I think this is a bad call. The whole point of Starling, for me, is to replace bureaucratic & incompetent high street banks. I think this defeats the main aim of being treated as a viable alternative.