The Expectations Customers Have For Instant Financial Card Issuance

In a world of instant gratification, waiting is not an option – we expect to get what we want right away! As consumer expectations grow, so does the need for financial institutions to keep pace with their customer’s demands on all service levels. The in-branch customer experience is in a constant state of flux, and as such, any financial institution that wants to remain relevant must adapt and evolve its processes and services to meet customers’ needs better today and tomorrow.

With fraud prevention at the forefront of every financial institution’s mind, the instant financial card issuance process presents an opportunity to create a frictionless user experience for consumers. The ability to issue bank cards instantly can help alleviate some of these issues by eliminating steps and unnecessary delays on the way to obtaining a new bank card and replacing lost or stolen credit/debit cards.

What Is Instant Issuance?

Instant issuance is the capability to provide a consumer with new credit and debit cards at branch locations instantly. Using integrated software and hardware solutions, banks and credit unions can quickly issue permanent, personalized cards right in their branch without waiting days or weeks for the physical card to arrive in the mail.

The security features required by Visa, MasterCard, and other creditors are embedded within the instant card issuing solution, from encoding data onto a magnetic stripe to embossing and indent printing on the back of the card.

This technology is designed to be completely secure and make issuing cards a smooth process for the bank and its customers. With in-branch issuance, cardholders can walk out with a ready-to-use, fully functional activated payment card within minutes. 

Instant card program does not replace traditional methods of card issuance. Instead, it complements them by providing faster access to new cards when needed. 

Instant issuance is ideal for:

  • New bank accounts
  • Lost or stolen cards
  • Expired or damaged cards
  • Identity theft

✍️ Note:

There’s a difference between “instant-approval credit cards” and “instant issuance credit cards.” Instant approval is common practice among major financial institutions, but instant access to that credit line after approval is a fairly recent development.

Why Is Instant Card Issuance a Critical Tool for Meeting Customer Expectations?

Today’s financial landscape is characterized by rapid change and increased competition. To stay competitive, financial institutions must always identify areas where they are falling behind and improve service delivery accordingly.

With technology constantly changing and evolving, consumers expect a consistent banking experience throughout their entire journey. The advent of same-day delivery becoming more commonplace has only further entrenched this expectation.

Not to mention the short attention span that many consumers have. They are much more comfortable jumping from one thing to another than staying put and waiting around. They expect immediate results and gratification, which financial institutions should be able to deliver.

Banks and credit unions cannot afford to miss the boat to meet the ever-growing needs of the impulse generation. Through in-branch instant card issuance, financial institutions can have the unique advantage of delighting their customers and enabling them to carry out transactions immediately.  

A number of factors have made instant issuance a critical tool for meeting customer expectations and enhancing the cardholder experience. These include:

Consumer Demand

Customers are demanding more from their financial institutions. As technological advancements continue to change how we live our daily lives, customers also demand an equally responsive banking relationship. They want a bank’s mobile app to provide real-time information, convenient access, and the ability to perform tasks on the go. They want their in-person experience to be just as quick. In other words, they want everything now!

Financial institutions must turn to instant issuance to keep up with demand due to increased competition and the ongoing migration to EMV. The EMV system also enhances security and technology capabilities for instantaneous fund access.

Improved Account Opening Process

When customers open a new account or apply for a line of credit, they want to receive immediate access to the new card. It’s no longer acceptable for account holders to wait several days or weeks for their new card to arrive via regular mail. If they need new cards quickly, there is simply no substitute that provides the easy access and convenience of immediate card issuance. Banks can deliver immediacy level without additional costs with an in-branch instant issuance solution.

“Instant card issuance rises to that challenge, enabling a member to walk out of the branch with strengthened loyalty to the institution and an activated debit or credit card, including EMV,” –Sharon Pazlar, Director of Product Management at Fiserv as quoted by Credit Union Times.

Reducing the wait time for new cards has been shown to increase card usage. Instant card issuances result in 47% of cardholders using the card within eight hours. In a 45-day analysis, instant issuance cards outperformed mailed cards by 53%.

Fraud Protection

Consumers are increasingly becoming victims of identity theft. In 2021, there were around 390,000 reports of credit card fraud, based on research conducted by The Ascent, a service of the Motley Fool. In response, consumers expect more protection than ever before.

Having a way to block old cards and issue new cards instantly offers another layer of fraud protection. By enabling cardholders to go directly into a branch to request new cards, banks can help customers continue using their services without waiting until their cards arrive.

Faster Access to New Cards

When a card is lost or stolen, the last thing a consumer wants to do is wait around while they try to cancel and reissue the card. This often leads to unnecessary delays when funds are desperately needed. Moreover, if someone who loses a card needs to travel out of town or if there is a bank holiday, they may be unable to get their card replaced for a long time.

“When people lose their debit cards, they can’t put their lives on hold while they wait for a new card in the mail,” Pazlar explained.

A new or replacement card usually takes 7 to 10 days for most financial institutions to issue. According to Fiserv research, one in five users who get a new debit card opts to pick it up in a branch.

Furthermore, when a consumer receives a card in the mail, they may not activate it immediately. “That is all lost income opportunity. The financial benefit to the credit union is incremental interchange revenue, higher activation and usage rates,” as told to Credit Union Times by Alyssa Arredondo, Director, Financial Solutions Marketing Entrust. An inactivated card could also lead to identity theft.

With an instant issuance program, banks can provide fast, hassle-free replacement of lost or stolen cards and expedite the process of issuing new cards.

In-Branch PIN Generation

Instant issuance card programs eliminate one of the most vulnerable card issuance areas: mailing cards and PINs. With an in-branch PIN generation system, banks can offer all customers the option to generate a PIN right in the bank branch instead of waiting for the mailed PIN to arrive. This improves security while giving account holders immediate capability to choose their desired PIN number.

In-Branch Experience

Over 63% of millennials and 48% of debit card customers consider it essential to be able to obtain debit cards in a local branch. As part of the in-branch experience, customers value the personal touch and face-to-face interaction with staff to reduce the inconvenience of other channels. Those expectations highlight the importance of having an instant issuance card program within the branch environment and how banks can use this opportunity to create a memorable customer experience.

Card Personalization On-the-Go

Customers can customize their card designs simultaneously while issuing them at the branch with instant issuance. Consumers can now have their preferred designs printed onto their brand new cards and view their personalized cards in real time.

Customers appreciate previewing their card design in advance and knowing exactly how it will look once issued. They also enjoy seeing their newly customized card in person. This gives consumers the power of choice, making them feel valued and respected.

Immediate Purchasing Power

The customer wants purchasing power now, not in two or three weeks. The majority of consumers would rather spend their money as the need arises than have to delay spending it. Instant issuance provides the tools to enable a purchase today, not tomorrow.

With over 108.6 million credit card transactions per day in the U.S., EMV-enabled cards are needed at all transaction points for banks looking to maintain their position as top payment providers.

According to the latest report, over 80% of U.S. consumers used contactless payments to make purchases during the past year, which includes tap-to-go credit cards and mobile wallets. The usage of contactless payments is undoubtedly accelerating as consumer habits changed during the pandemic.

To keep pace with the change, an instant issuance card program should be at the forefront of any financial institution’s strategy. Banks must adopt this technology quickly to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the shift toward contactless payments.

If you are a bank or credit union looking for an instant issuance service provider or want to learn more about how your business could benefit from our instant issuance solution, call Elliott Data Systems at 1-888-345-8511.

How Can Instant Issuance Help Financial Institutions?

The benefits of instant card issuance have made it increasingly popular with consumers and financial institutions in recent years. Thousands of banks and credit unions are incorporating instant card issuance into their business models as it facilitates card usage and activation, thus building loyalty and top-of-wallet use.

Here are some ways in which instant issues help financial institutions:

Increase Customer Loyalty

Instant issuance increases the perceived convenience of using a card by reducing the wait time between account opening and first use. In addition, the instant issue eliminates the waiting period for receiving a physical card and gives access to the funds within minutes. The customer will appreciate the timely service and be more apt to use other bank services in the future. It creates complete customer satisfaction.

Increase Card Usage

Some of the cards sent through the mail are never activated and used. When compared to traditional mailed cards, instant issue cards are 3x more likely to be used. This means that by issuing and activating the cards immediately, it’ll increase account activity.

Boost Profits

Banks generate revenue from both interchange fees and interest charges. The higher the number of cards instantly issued to customers, the more revenue the bank will earn from these sources.

Increase Portfolio Yield

With customers visiting the branch, banks and credit unions can benefit from increased foot traffic, allowing them to cross-sell or upsell services to existing or potential customers. This can result in increased customer loyalty, longer customer retention, and higher use of other services.

Competitive Advantage

Leveraging instant issuance as part of its overall offering gives a bank an advantage over competitors who do not have the same capabilities. It ultimately helps the bank differentiate itself from competitors and gain more of the market share.

Increase Cardholder Education

The instant issue provides a great way for staff to educate new cardholders on card features and benefits. By providing information about all the features available, such as rewards points and cash back, cardholders are better prepared to get the most out of the card.

Enhance Security

With instant card issuance, PIN generation and EMV compliance become easier. Instantly issued cards contain all critical data elements required for EMV (chip) compliance. It also eliminates the risk of losing cards in the mail and theft.

Retain Existing Accountholders

Instantly issued cards are easy to activate and provide immediate gratification to current customers. This added convenience makes them less likely to cancel accounts or switch banks.

Reduce Cost

Instant card issuance saves money by reducing processing, mailing, printing, and postage costs. Also, it shortens the process of re-issuance after cards are lost, stolen, or damaged.

Green Initiative

In-branch issuance is environmentally friendly since there is no longer a need to print and mail thousands of cards and paper documents annually, thus cutting down on paper consumption and waste.

Instant financial card issuance has been one of the major advancements that allow financial institutions to create an almost seamless account ownership experience. Not only does the technology bring more convenience to consumers, but it also adds value to banking institutions.

For banks, instant card issuance results in an average of five additional monthly purchases compared to the traditional card delivery method. 

By decreasing the time between the sign-up, customer acquisition, card activation, and first use of the card, the overall life cycle of the card is shortened. Customers no longer need to visit out-of-the-way banks, call customer service for long periods of time, or wait weeks for card delivery. This gives banks the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage and more loyal customers.

Implementing instant card issuance requires careful planning and execution. Elliott Data Systems offers turnkey solutions to facilitate your transition into instant card issuance. Contact us today to learn more about how instant issuance can enhance your bank’s customer experience!

Instant Issuance Is Here to Stay – Prepare Today

Elliott’s instant issuance solutions make it simple and affordable for any size financial institution to issue cards instantly at the point of sale. With secure financial instant issuance printers, you can start printing cards immediately, saving valuable time and resources while increasing customer satisfaction and retention.

Elliott’s solutions are designed to handle the complexities of running a successful instant card issuance program without disrupting bank operations. With us, you get significant value, including:

  • Easy integration with existing systems.
  • Low cost of ownership over centralized operation.
  • Instant branch-level card delivery.
  • On-demand personalized card designs.
  • PIN selection and RePIN capabilities.
  • Credit, debit, ATM, and proprietary cards support.
  • Built-in compliance for EMV chip & signature technology.
  • End-to-end encryption (Triple DES or AES).
  • Scalability and flexibility without needing additional operational resources.
  • Complete enterprise reporting and administrative tools.

Importance of Operational Experience for Instant Financial Card Issuance

It has been established that instant financial issuance (IFI) benefits cardholders. What about institution staff? 

Instant financial issuance must be a streamlined process with minimal impact on bank employees. If the process for instant issuance is not smooth, it will negatively affect cardholders and bankers alike. 

When systems fail, it’s not just the customers who are affected, but every employee involved in the process suffers as well. It’s imperative to have a solid support system in place to ensure no disruption occurs during a failed issuance or supply management.

At Elliott, we have developed a framework to simplify instant issuance through streamlined processes, efficient workflow, and an easy solution to ensure that the entire process delivers a positive experience for everyone involved. 

One of Elliott’s core values is “Operational Excellence,” which includes delivering exceptional customer experience. We understand that our success depends on the quality of our products and our client’s services. Therefore, we strive to provide superior support through training and ongoing product upgrades.

Numerous issues may arise during an instant financial issuance or a card reissue. Our team is fully trained and ready to assist our clients when they encounter these challenges.

Our technical assistance team provides support via remote sessions, phone calls, emails, or on-site visits, depending on your requirements.

Elliott Data Systems Delivers a Full and Compelling Set of Services

With over 50 years of experience delivering secure Identification solutions, Elliott has a proven track record of providing innovative, high-performance solutions to enhance local financial institutions’ card programs.

With Elliott, financial institutions can take advantage of all the benefits of IFI with no extra burden on their employees. Whether you need an instant or central issuance system, our EMV card solutions are designed to meet your needs. Our unique combination of low-cost-per-card issuance systems can print up to 1,800 personalized cards per hour, making it the industry’s most advanced high-volume central printing solution.

Whether you’re looking for enhanced fraud prevention, higher security levels, PIN selection, rePIN capability, credit/debit card, or ATM card, Elliott’s solutions offer unsurpassed reliability and ease of use.

Let Elliott Data Systems Help You by Making the Process Easy

Without effective and comprehensive service from start to finish, the overall card issuance process could become complicated. Instead of being a benefit, a sub-par IFI solution can cause complications for the entire operation.

From software, printers, EMV card stock, supplies, and on-site services, Elliott Data Systems offers everything needed to help make your issuance program successful.

We understand the importance of a holistic approach to card issuance and will work with you to develop a customized plan that addresses each aspect of the issue: design, materials, setup, implementation, maintenance, and post-issuance support.

Instant issuance software – This simple, intuitive software package allows users to create new cards, issue existing cards, manage the printer fleet, maintain records, generate reports, and more.

Intelligent supplies – We offer a fully integrated suite of customized supplies that allow you to design and optimize your card program.  

Professional services – From installation to maintenance, we offer a complete range of services to keep your card processing operations running without a hitch.

If you want to find out more about how Elliott can help you streamline your card issuance program or if you would like to request a quote, please contact us at 1-888-345-8511.

The customer experience has become the new battleground for financial services firms trying to keep up with the competition. In today’s competitive environment, where consumers have plenty of choices when they get a financial product, banks must be able to differentiate themselves by delivering exceptional service. 

By adopting a customer-centric and forward-thinking attitude, financial institutions can deliver outstanding value to customers while providing them with the convenience they demand. This is especially true in the world of instant issuance. Through technological innovations, instant issuance has made it possible to provide a faster, easier, and more efficient way to issue cards than ever before.