Bancontact is a brand that is literally known by 99% of the Belgians. It is twice as often spontaneously mentioned as the first payment brand, than the next largest competitor. In fact, more than 9 out of 10 people who know Bancontact also use it regularly. In short, a brand that is a household name.

Over the last 25 years, the Bancontact logo has become a familiar sight in the street, at ATMs, on shop doors, petrol stations or car parks. But payments are now increasingly made online and with smartphones. In this environment, space is more scarce and the size of a logo is expressed more in a few pixels than in centimeters. So, time for an update.

With a view to the future

Bancontact would also like to continue to be the first choice of the Belgians in digital and mobile sales channels of today and tomorrow. One of the conditions for this is that the logo be seen and recognized immediately. The 'acceptance mark', the logo with which merchants indicate that they accept Bancontact, must remain a strong signal both in the physical and in the digital world.

The disadvantage of an emblem

In design terms the Bancontact/Mister Cash logo was an 'emblem'. It is a logo such as that of Perrier or Harley Davidson, with a name and a picture or icon in a fixed contour. Together it forms a very recognizable whole. The disadvantage however is that the smaller the emblem, the less legible, recognizable and attractive it is. Compressed into a 180x180-pixel app icon, the graphical composition will lose all its power.

Keep what is essential

In the process of achieving a simpler but equally recognizable logo, we first asked ourselves which graphic components are essential and which are not.

With the strongest components we built a logo that no longer has the form of an emblem, but is a combination of:

  • The word brand 'Bancontact' in a new font with higher, easier-to-read letters
  • The well-known color combination of white, blue and yellow
  • The handshake icon that is now less stretched and has the same combination of sharp and rounded corners that we also find in the font and in the card contour of the old logo.

The result is a logo that is easier to read, especially in smaller sizes. The word brand can now stand next to the icon as well, which means we can make the letters even bigger in the available space. From a design-technical point-of-view, the new logo therefore fulfills the objectives.

The proof of the pudding

To ensure that the design could also work correctly in practice, we set up an online consumer survey in August 2015. The results gave the necessary confirmation.

The new logo is better recognized

1,175 Belgians were shown a picture of a digital payment page for a few seconds (see fictitious example), a digital product page or a payment terminal such as you see in the shops. We asked them to view the images carefully, because we would be asking 'a question' about what there was to see in the illustration. In about half of the images we incorporated the old logo and in the other half the new one. The question we then asked was: "What payment brands did you recognize?" The respondents wrote their answers down themselves in four free text fields. The new logo was in 33% of cases the first one filled in, the old one in 22%. The new logo was in 50% of cases noticed as one of the payment methods, the old one in 41%.

Just say Bancontact

Nine out of ten respondents who recognized Bancontact typed 'Bancontact' as the answer, 7% typed 'Mister Cash' and only 3% the full name 'Bancontact/Mister Cash'. We saw this distribution both with those who saw the old and the new logo and it remained identical between respondents with the same mother tongue, age, sex or level of education. Belgians call the brand simply... ‘Bancontact’.

The confidence remains

When we showed respondents the old and the new logo in different formats, 28% said that the logo is more dependable and 22% less so. For 50% the new logo was just as dependable as the old one.

In addition, 80% of the respondents declared that the new logo still feels like the same brand. Of the 20% for whom the brand feels different, only 6.4% were really skeptical.

Bancontact makes it easier

The evolution of the Bancontact logo is not only motivated by the changing environment in which it has to operate. It also underlines the brand promise: makes it easier. In short, one logo, that you recognize immediately and that in any surroundings says: I am here, if you want to make payments easily.

Read the detailed review by Brand New.

Written by

Astrid Vanwolleghem

Head of design

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