16 September 2014

Kazakhstan bank ships diamond-encrusted credit card

01 November 2012  |  11790 views  |  10 Sberbank diamond card

Kazakhstan's oligarchs now have a novel new way to flaunt their wealth, with the launch of a solid gold, diamond-encrusted Visa credit card.

Russia's Sberbank is handing the Visa Infinite Exclusive cards - made of pure gold, with pearl embossing and 26 diamonds - to its top 100 customers in the energy-rich country.

The card can be used for chip and PIN transactions but, with no mag-stripe, owners will have to carry a regular piece of plastic if they want to get at their fortune via an ATM.

According to ABC News, the card will cost $100,000, of which $65,000 is needed to mint it, with the rest added to its balance.

Sberbank and Visa are actually four years behind MasterCard and Kazkommertsbank, which introduced their own diamond-encrusted card in bling-enamoured Kazakhstan back in 2008.


Comments: (10)

Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 01 November, 2012, 10:06

My friend asked some interesting questions: how many ATMs can accept diamond-encrusted cards? What happens if you enter PIN incorrectly three times? If your card get skimmed, do you get a brand new one or the old one is smelted and recast? Questions, questions :)

Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 01 November, 2012, 10:37

The ATM question was related to C&P-enabled ATMs - they still need a card to be fully inserted.

A Finextra member | 01 November, 2012, 11:30

As it says in the article - it doesn't have a Magnetic Stripe - so it cannot be skimmed.


Not having a magnetic stripe also means it probably will not be usable in ATMs (as the article suggests) - as most ATMs check for the presence of a Mag Stripe to confirm it is a usable card (unless as Part of the V-PAY Roll out ATMs have been upgraded to bi-pass this check).

Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 01 November, 2012, 11:40

C&P card can be compromised during an online transaction - that could require the card to be replaced.

There are indeed ATMs which do not require mag stripe - that what I was referring to.

A Finextra member | 01 November, 2012, 11:45

Are you suggesting that someone is going to clone the chip?  I'm assuming these guys will be using DDA or CDA Chips (not SDA)...

There doesn't appear to be a PAN Embossed on the Card which would leave me to believe the Issuer is smart enough not to Authorise PKE, MOTO or e-Commerce Transactions for this Cardtype.

What type of compromise did you have in mind?

Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 01 November, 2012, 12:07

You use your gold-diamond card to buy something on the Internet. Card details are stolen and a trivial "plain vanila" mag stripe clone is created and used in the USA. Will you continue using your C&P card or get a new one?

A Finextra member | 01 November, 2012, 12:08

Without an embossed PAN you are really going to struggle to use it for e-commerce...

Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 01 November, 2012, 12:15

Hm, good point. Does it mean I don't even get to know my card number? If I do, I can use it online too.

Jan-Olof Brunila - Swedbank - Stockholm | 02 November, 2012, 07:25

What about ESD - electro static discharge - gold is a very conductive material?  In the dry and cold winter climate in that country there could be issues of ESD with a gold card and ESD is known to damage payment terminals.

Dave Barnes - . - Edinburgh | 02 November, 2012, 08:11

Something gives me the impression that the owners of these cards won't be doing much in the way of grocery shopping themselves.... So the lack of a mag stripe might not be the issue it is for you and I. (I say "you", but you may be one of these card holders, so please accept my apologies for lumping you in with the rest of us)

I'm sure the shops they choose to shop in will do what it takes to ensure that their purchases are made as easy as possible.

Some quite funny scenarios in the previous comments about ATMs though. Not sure I can see the guy outside the pub on Friday trying to get money out for a taxi home, can you!

Comment on this story (membership required)
Log in to receive notifications when someone posts a comment

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)

Related stories

19 October, 2012
30 May, 2012
09 June, 2011

Related company news


Featured job

Competitive base, bonus, full benefits
London / Anywhere, UK

Find your next job