Naveo Navigates Its Name Change With A Brilliantly Simple Move

The Massachusetts credit union turns its debit card 90 degrees to improve functionality and impress the user.


Ever had one of those forehead-slapping “why didn’t I think of that” moments? The new vertical-swipe debit cards from Naveo Credit Union ($112.6M, Somerville, MA) induced one of those for me.

Naveo_largeCheck it out in this CUToday article posted last week. The card stands out in the wallet and solves an awkward problem in advertising: Those instances such as that American Express commercial where Tina Fey is clearly swiping the card with the mag stripe in the wrong place, all just to brand the ad by keeping the logo visible.

Naveo CEO Rui Domingos explains, “We want our members to be proud to show off their debit card. Choosing to go vertical makes more sense, as members must turn their cards vertically to swipe. Our vertical design allows for our logo to be visible when the card is in your wallet or when you’re swiping.”

Brilliant in its simplicity, the Naveo card was introduced as a follow-up to the 8,100-member credit union’s latest name change and rebranding. Opened in 1928 as Cambridge Portuguese Credit Union, it later became CPCU Credit Union before changing to the new name last year.

Although Naveo now serves communities in three counties as well as anyone of Portuguese descent, the venerable credit union is hewing to its maritime roots. The name is derived from the Portuguese word for ship — navio.

“It encompasses CPCU’s heritage as well as a youthful, inclusive personality," the credit union said in its announcement last year. “Naveo is a name that is about providing support and helping members find the way on their financial journey.”

Using a cool yet totally practical way to stand out from the crowd seems like a great way to interest people in how you as a credit union can do that.

Well done, Naveo. Ideas like that can lead to smooth sailing ahead.


April 8, 2015


  • We also went vertical in the past year and also to a flat card without embossing. We are finding that the swipe process is causing the PAN to wear off and since it's not embossed, it's gone for good.
  • Thanks, Brian, we really appreciate you sharing your own experience and advice!
    Alix Patterson
  • Naveo's new card design is very attractive. At Pittsford Federal Credit Union, we also turned our card 90 degrees just about a year ago — — and the response has been great. But here’s something for our fellow credit unions to watch out for: The Apple Pay "wallet" iconography is designed for landscape (traditional card layout) orientation. We've had to "fake" a digital, landscape version of our new card in preparation for joining Apple Pay. Also, many wallets stack cards with the long "top" edge exposed - consider how your design will look with just the "side" edge showing (if you go the portrait orientation route).
    Brian Scudder