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These credit cards feature OLEDs that light up upon payment

In a nutshell: A dwindling bank balance is never fun to see. But a card that lights up whenever it’s time to swipe may finally bring a smile to your face as you make that four-digit purchase you don’t really need. Fintech company Sentry Enterprises has unveiled a fresh innovation in the form of a platform called Radiance that embeds eye-catching OLED displays into the humble plastic card.

With this, issuers can emblazon their logos and designs in radiant color at every card swipe or contactless transaction. This, Sentry hopes, will help banks and issuers amplify their brands and boost customer engagement.

“Other illuminated cards out there don’t even come close,” proclaimed a proud company executive. “Radiance’s proprietary card encapsulation process, integrated with OLED technology, redefines the range of graphic design options.”

It may sound like a gimmick, but there’s substance here too. Since the card obviously doesn’t pack a battery, it only lights up when within EMV contactless range, giving users helpful payment feedback. The power is drawn from the card reader with the magic of NFC.

Sentry says Radiance uses a “proprietary card encapsulation process” that allows vivid OLEDs to be permanently embedded within card bodies, producing durable, delamination-free units that can withstand heavy usage. The platform is designed to integrate seamlessly with Visa, Mastercard, and existing POS systems while meeting stringent security certifications.

Though Sentry doesn’t explicitly state it in its press release, the OLED tech here is likely the flexible kind. After all, bank cards are designed to tolerate abuse, even a bit of bending. Foldable OLED displays are all the rage these days in Windows laptops, and as the technology advances, the fact that it’s starting to show up on everyday objects is hardly a surprise.

That said, Radiance is positioned as a flexible solution for banks and card manufacturers alike. For issuers, it offers a bold way to capture customers’ attention and build loyalty through premium, interactive payment experiences. Card makers, meanwhile, can produce Radiance products via existing equipment with minimal retooling.

While consumer availability remains unannounced, the concept could find an early embrace among innovative neo-banks hungry to differentiate their offerings. With economic turbulence all around, who knows, perhaps it’ll be eye-catching cards like these that end up driving consumer spending.

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