Updated: Apr 14, 2021
The German fintech Tomorrow has launched one of the first wooden cards on the market as part of its premium Zero account, which allows customers to offset their annual carbon footprint.
Debit cards made of wood, corn or metal instead of plastic - it sounds like a very good idea! Especially when they're both fancy and sustainable. These new-generation eco-friendly cards have quickly become the newest status symbol for environmentally conscious consumers who're looking for greener and more sustainable products.
Whilst sustainable banking and investment products are currently appealing to a relatively small percentage of the market, the "new wave" is expected to have a major influence on the rest of the market participants, and quickly turn into a "mass wave", setting a new industry standard. So far, challenger banks have been leading the way in the field, with N26, Revolut or Vivid Money being among the early adopters who have introduced metal cards as part of their premium offerings.
However, many incumbents have also started catching up with the trend and introduced their own eco-friendly cards. The Swiss leader UBS and Ireland's Bank of Ireland have chosen corn-based alternative cards, whilst UK's Nationwide and Denmark's Danske Bank have gone for cards made from recycled plastic.
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What fintech 'Tomorrow' stands for
The German neo-bank Tomorrow is now entering the game of sustainable cards, by taking a step further. Launched in 2018, Tomorrow offers a greener alternative to traditional banking and strives for the perfect balance between purpose and profit.
After the powerful "Wood is the new good", Tomorrow asks "Wood you?"...
The eye-catcher made of Austrian cherry wood is now available to Tomorrow's "Zero" account premium holders who pay 15 Euros per month in return for offset carbon footprint, free worldwide cash withdrawals and unlimited Pockets. In addition to the benefit of sustainability, the wooden card also aims to provide customers with a unique user experience due to its exclusive and premium look and feel. The appealing visual aspect of the product has been particularly important for Tomorrow who wants to bring "beauty into banking".
With sustainability and social purpose at the centre of the business, the company has also recently become a B Corp organisation. "We believe that money can be part of the solution. But while we are buying organic vegetables and using green electricity, our money is in the bank and may be financing a new one Coal-fired power station." To fight this, Tomorrow is making sure that it only finances sustainable and social projects.
Tomorrow's 'Bank robbery for good' campaign
A year ago, Tomorrow caught the attention of the media and the fintech community with its rather unusual campaign: "Bank robbery for good". The campaign was in the form of a national appeal for money to be taken away from conventional banks and invested in sustainable projects.
Commenting on the campaign, Co-founder Jakob Berndt said: "The main goal is your money to go into projects that enable positive change".
The campaign that involved a mass social and PR outreach and featured a dedicated website was extremely successful and helped Tomorrow gain over 33,000 new customers.
What makes Tomorrow different
Tomorrow currently has 47,000 customers who share its principles and interest in green and sustainable living. Besides sustainable investments and banking, Tomorrow aims to differentiate itself from the competition by introducing the following key benefits:
Tomorrow offsets 11.3 tons of CO2 per year for every Zero account user. That is the average CO2 footprint that every German resident leaves behind each year. A quite smart initiative with an important psychological aspect: In addition to actual compensation, this promise gives customers a sense of satisfaction and purpose that they can live climate-neutrally by being part of the "Tomorrow Community".
Interchange Fee for Climate Projects
Tomorrow uses the Interchange Fee for climate projects and protects 1 m2 of rainforest for every euro spent through its accounts. The results reported so far for this initiative are impressive: 91,706,279 m2 of rainforest protected, 15,470,234 trees protected, 23,453,660 kg of CO2 offset.
Tomorrow invests in sustainable projects
Tomorrow promises not to invest a cent of customer deposits in "yesterday's industries such as armaments, factory farming or coal power", and to invest only in sustainable projects. Its aim is to make a "positive change together" with the community. The previous balance of Tomorrow's capital according to the company's own statements: 92,275,709 euros by 47,314 users, 19,450,000 euros invested in sustainable projects, 0 euros invested in yesterday's industries.
It's all about the community
A core aspect of Tomorrow's marketing strategy is focused on building a strong and loyal brand community. And the strategy seems to be working well as last October, within just five hours, the company managed to secure more than 3 million Euros through crowdfunding.
About Tomorrow: Tomorrow is a fast-growing German-based fintech start-up. According to the company, it is "the first European stakeholder to combine mobile banking and sustainable finances". Founded in 2018, Tomorrow launched its pilot current account in March last year. So far, it has gained over 45,000 customers and its long-term aim is to create a digital platform focused on finances with a positive impact.