San Francisco startup Unifimoney is making payment cards from ocean plastic

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San Francisco Startup Unifimoney Is Making Payment Cards From Ocean Plastic - We The World Magazine
Image courtesy of Unifimoney via PRNewswire

San Francisco-based fintech startup Unifimoney Inc. is making VISA contactless cards with a core featuring plastic reclaimed from oceans.

The company seeks to provide “high-performance banking” to young Americans through integrated and automated financial services in partnership with UMB Bank.

The new Second Wave™ debit cards will be EMV® compliant and manufactured by CPI Card Group® – a payment technology company. The dual-interface capable debit and credit cards will have a core made from the reclaimed plastics that litter oceans. Moreover, Unifimoney has also ensured every transaction is sustainable; with every swipe or click, the company will donate to The Ocean Foundation.

Image courtesy of Unifimoney via press release

According to Nilsen (2018) data, globally 6.4bn payment cards are made. Unifimoney CEO Ben Soppitt says they “want to bring new innovations to market that help our customers and make a positive impact in the world.”

Unifimoney: how’s the reception?

If you’re wondering about the feasibility of such a green card and the reception it has got, an independent survey conducted by the card-maker shows impressive numbers of people willing to take an opportunity to save oceans.

According to the survey, 53% of respondents were willing to switch to another financial institution that offers a card like Unifimoney’s news option with the same benefits. 94% were concerned about the plastic that ends up in the ocean. And 87% were impressed with the idea of ocean plastic in their debit cards.

“We estimate that for every 1 million Second Wave payment cards produced, over 1 ton of plastic will be diverted from entering the world’s oceans, waterways, and shorelines,” Guy DiMaggio, SVP and General Manager of Secure Card Solutions, CPI Card Group said.

Billions of tones of plastic waste end up in ocean every year (Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash)

The sustainable debit cards will be available from Summer 2020 according to Unifimoney. The company’s digital banking service provider, UMB Bank lauded the decision. “Being a strong community partner is one of our core values at UMB, so we’re proud to be the issuer of these environmentally friendly cards,” Senior Vice President of UMB group, Doug Pagliaro said.

VISA also commended the fintech company’s efforts, saying “we are proud to be part of this group of partners who are committed to supporting sustainable practices and protecting our oceans.”

The rampant pollution with a new threat

Ocean pollution is a rampant disaster that chokes millions of marine animals to death, every year and causes unprecedented damage to marine biodiversity. As a result of human actions, billions of pounds of trash litter the sea beds.



The plastic pollution is so ubiquitous to our nature, that scientists even say it could point to a geological indicator of the Anthropocene era. Sometimes sea turtles strangling to death, sometimes whales ingesting fatal amounts of plastic, the incidents as a result of plastic pollution in the oceans are heartbreaking.

Adding more to the already sensitive issue, the pandemic has machined another million plastic and plastic bi-products like facemasks, single-use disposable masks, all of which will potentially end up in the sea.

It’s high time consumerism shifts to a better and more sustainable solution like Unifimoney’s. What do you think about the great initiative? Would you apply for such a card? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

(Cover image courtesy of Unifimoney via press release)