June 2021

Deserve’s Digital First Card is Here: Everything You Need to Know

If you know even a little about our mission here at Deserve, you’ll understand our excitement about the recent news. Just last month, we officially unveiled the Digital First Card — aka the smartest credit card experience ever offered — and we can finally say that consumers are just a few clicks away from making their first purchase.

Even if you don’t know anything about Deserve, reading about the Digital First Card is probably the perfect place to start. After all, it’s the latest, truest actualization of our vision to date, which is simply to build a revolutionary credit card experience delivered on a platform that utilizes only the latest in digital and mobile-first technology that encourages financial success of all brands and consumers. Nothing too ambitious, really.

At Deserve we want to inspire everyone, and whether you’re a business owner looking for a credit program to offer customers, or an individual looking to build on your personal credit, we’re always rooting for you, and we want to help. The one thing we can absolutely guarantee is that the Digital First Card is unlike any credit card you’ve ever owned.

Fully Digital

The name is not a red herring: our Digital First Card is truly, fully digital. This is our vision, as we have always believed that convenience is one of the most valuable assets that can be mined from technology. Designed with the consumer experience in mind down to the last detail, the card is accessible right from your smartphone and can link instantly to Apple Pay without the need to switch platforms. The controls and interface are clean and intuitive, and the app provides a more simple, visualized approach to financial management.

At Deserve we harbor no illusions about the role that smartphones play in our lives, and we would rather enhance our digital experiences than turn away from them. Plus, the truth is just as our CEO and Co-Founder Kalpesh Kapadia has said: "You might leave your wallet at home, but you always have your phone."

All You Need (And More)

When it comes to features, the Digital First Card has all the perks you should expect from a credit card, plus more. Here are some of the usual suspects:


We want our product to encourage and empower consumers toward financial success, so in addition to traditional rewards programs and the usual perks, we’ve added some unique features that we think simplify current approaches to personal financial management.

One of the most bothersome features of most credit card and bank account applications is the confusing stream of numbers and symbols that supposedly represent your transaction history. With the Digital First Card, your transactions are no longer an obnoxious spreadsheet, constantly regenerating itself to include forgotten tips from restaurant purchases. Deserve’s app displays distinct, recognizable icons so you can identify merchant information as accurately as possible. Tips are also factored in and displayed alongside the relevant transaction, so full amounts will never be in question.

Similarly, we have created visual aids to help consumers gain a better understanding of their spending habits overall, making it easier to set and achieve short or long-term financial goals. On our app, you can compare your monthly spending and make informed decisions about where you should adjust, and you can do it without having to scroll through hundreds of transactions stacked ominously together over a bland background.

Get Approved and Spend in Minutes

The application and approval process for credit cards can be a total turn-off to consumers. For whatever reason, it can feel so bureaucratic and exclusionary, so much so that many consumers would rather ditch the card altogether rather than open up that door. We designed the application and approval flow for the Digital First Card with these concerns in mind, and we can say with confidence that our process is truly quick and easy.

The documentation required is standard, and nothing you shouldn’t have on hand. Once you’ve uploaded everything we need to run the application (including as flattering of a selfie as you can possibly produce), you can have a decision in minutes and, if approved, be ready to start making purchases on your new card.

The Secret Sauce: API-Based Technology

You might have heard whispers about our disdain for COBOL, an archaic coding language that many legacy institutions are surprisingly still making use of in the fintech space. If this is unfamiliar territory for you, we’ll spare you the coding lesson and just tell you this: COBOL is outdated, slow, and there are far better digital solutions available.

Our foundation of API-based tech solutions makes Deserve an absolute force in the fintech space. Without getting too deep into technical details, APIs simply allow us to capture metadata and make use of it wherever necessary, to the benefit of both businesses and consumers. It gives us the ability to track information accurately and leverage the corresponding data to work for you in various ways.

If you’re a business looking to launch a credit program, it could take you years to get up and running without the help of APIs. By contrast, Deserve can have a partner’s sponsored card moving within a few months. In addition to its advantages in development, APIs are what make co-branded cards an attractive option in the digital space. Deserve card partners can tailor their rewards programs to incentivize consumer behavior in countless ways, whether looking to increase on-time payments or encourage spending at a particular establishment, the options for customization here are quite literally unlimited thanks to the use of APIs.

More to Come

At Deserve, we’re always looking toward the future, so even though we’re extremely excited to launch the Digital First Card, our focus is on developing and actualizing our vision even further. Currently, the Digital First Card is only available in the Apple Store, but an Android compatible card is in the works and we hope to roll it out as soon as possible. Additionally, although we proudly maintain our digital-first attitude, we understand the need for variety and develop a physical card for anyone who prefers it.

All Deserve cards are issued by Celtic Bank, a Utah-Chartered Industrial Bank, Member FDIC.

1. You will earn cash rewards, in the form of statement credits by using Your card for purchases. You will not earn cash rewards on ATM withdrawals, cash advances, or balance transfers (ATM withdrawals, cash advances, and balance transfers are not available). The following types of transactions won’t count and won’t earn points: purchase of travelers’ checks, foreign currency, money orders, wire transfers or similar cash-like transactions, lottery tickets, casino gaming chips, race track wagers or similar betting transactions, any checks that access Your account, interest, unauthorized or fraudulent charges, interest, and fees of any kind, including an annual fee, if applicable.