Here’s a question: how logical ist this argument really? For branding, maybe. But during chip and PIN transactions, the written informations on the card are irrelevant. So what’s the best orientation for the use case when you actually have to read the card number? When typing it in an online form maybe? I would assume usability tests wouldn’t show any benefits for portrait and maybe a slight advantage for landscape, mainly because that’s what most users are used to. So is it worth it to have like 90% of all text on the card in portrait mode when those 90% aren’t related to chip and PIN transactions?
I am not arguing against portrait designs. I like them aesthetically. But I believe they are powerful because they are a relative novelty. And benefits for brand recognition might come from that fact, and not because they’re naturally used in this orientation for chip and PIN transactions.
The argument about the orientation came up when contactless wasn’t really a thing. The first portrait design in Europe I am aware of was Hellobank in Belgium, around 2013. Today, the majority of transactions are contactless in many European countries with high volumes of card transactions, and ironically, with mobile payment and contactless, the landscape orientation is the more obvious design when applying the same logic. Yes, you’re occasionally still using chip and PIN, but wouldn’t it be more obvious, if the most prevalent use cases would define the design?
Having said all this, I find portrait designs more exciting. But again not because they make more sense, but because they feel still a little new and “special”.