Playing the face card: Dad didn't expect gigantic bank card photo

You know how some bank cards include your photo, but only in a tiny square? Yeah, not this one.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read

One thing's for sure, it'd be hard for thieves to use Benjamin Urbina's Wells Fargo bank card if they pilfered it. It features an enormous photo of his face. Plus, he's gone viral.

Urbina, of Pasadena, Texas, had a Bank of America card, which featured a small photo of his face in the upper corner. When he opened a new account at Wells Fargo, Urbina sent in a photo and assumed it'd appear just as small. 

Oh no, it didn't. Urbina received his card and saw that the snapshot he'd sent had been blown up to cover the entire card.

"This is not what I was expecting," Urbina said.

On Monday his daughter, Sandra, tweeted out a double photo that showed the type of card her dad expected and the one he received (with credit-card numbers blurred out, of course). By Wednesday it had been liked more than 325,000 times and retweeted more than 84,000 times.

"I'm honestly still in shock," said Sandra Urbina. "It's crazy how the internet works. I've always asked myself, Who starts memes? How does one go viral? And now that I see it firsthand, I still can't understand how it got this big."

Her dad isn't jumping to replace the mega-face card. 

"If [Wells Fargo] can't put my picture in the corner (like Bank of America), then I'm just keeping this one," he said. 

It's not clear exactly what happened with the card, or if there was any mistake on Wells Fargo's part. The bank lets customers design their own cards, and there's an option that lets you fill a whole card with an image. Perhaps a default setting got in the way. Wells Fargo didn't respond to a request for comment.

"My dad isn't blaming anyone," Sandra Urbina explains. "It was just a funny misunderstanding on his part."

Other Twitter users shared similar oh-so-personal cards.

Sandra says she's not sure her dad quite realizes how many people have seen his giant face. (One commented that he looks like Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat character.)

"My dad knows he is going viral, but he's, well, a dad," she said. "He doesn't quite understand how the internet works and how 'famous' he is right now."

True to form, her dad made a dad joke about the whole thing.

"I guess it's a way to do publicity," he said. "You know, so I can get recognized and maybe get more remodeling job opportunities."