Gone are the days when credit union members were willing to wait four or five days for their credit or debit replacement card to arrive in the mail. Whether due to lost or stolen cards or a data breach, cardholders don’t want to be hindered from transacting or paying their bills until a new plastic arrives. Instead, they expect seamless use and access to their cards 24/7/365 — in other words, they’re seeking an uninterrupted payments experience.
Here are four solutions credit unions should consider providing to ensure uninterrupted payments experiences for their members:
Digital Wallets — Through Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay, among others, members can utilize their phones or other wearable devices — such as smartwatches — to complete a payment using near field communication (NFC) technology, all without a plastic in hand. With the help of tokenization, cardholders can continue to conduct safe, seamless transactions wherever digital wallets are accepted. According to Visa, eight out of the top 10 merchants are already accepting NFC payments with many more merchants committed to turning on their NFC functionality in the near future.
Digital Issuance —A recently released solution, digital issuance provides a secure, real-time ability for members to continue transacting digitally without interruption — even in the absence of a physical card. With digital issuance, cardholders can conveniently transact via digital wallets through push-provisioning card credentials seamlessly from the credit union’s app. Enabling access to members’ card credentials for online purchases through the credit union’s app will be added later this year for additional convenience, allowing for an omnichannel payment experience. When all channels available to cardholders are connected and they can switch between devices seamlessly to complete transactions, cardholders are able to achieve the cohesive experience they have come to expect and, in turn, will most likely continue choosing their credit union card over other cards in their wallet.
Automatic Billing Updates — Following a lost, stolen, or data breach scenario, this service will automatically update card-on-file credentials with merchants in real time after a replacement card has been reissued. Utilizing Visa and Mastercard APIs, subscriptions will be auto-updated when possible and members can view recurring payments as a visual reminder to update them. This feature — available from PSCU in the near future — will allow for a reissue with no down time and avoids the window of a missed payment with card-on-file merchants for recurring payments.
Instant Issuance — With instant issuance, physical replacement cards can be printed on-site in branches so members don’t have to wait on a newly issued card to arrive in the mail. This solution is ideal for members in close proximity to a branch, providing a new plastic within hours of an incident and allowing transacting to continue as usual.
Offering these solutions allows credit unions to gain continued transactions even when members don’t have a physical card in hand. It also allows credit unions to achieve the coveted top-of-wallet status compared to competing banks and other financial institutions.
It’s important for credit unions to provide multiple options and seamless access through a member’s preferred channel. Many of the above solutions can and should complement each other and work in tandem to serve the member. Cardholders expect sophisticated digital and in-branch banking experiences — and they will use the cards and tools that provide them with the most value and seamless, uninterrupted experiences. Credit unions should make sure they are meeting — and exceeding — these expectations.
Cindy McGinness directs PSCU's initiatives to empower the company's Owner credit unions with innovative and engaging digital solutions. Cindy leads an experienced team dedicated to delivering PSCU’s B2B and B2C solutions in the mobile and online channels, in addition to online bill payment services.