Although not exactly a recent advancement, one trend that continues to gain steam is contactless payments. Contactless card popularity and acceptance has grown steadily since its introduction a few years back. A recently released study from the Smart Card Alliance backs up these growth trends, indicating that usage of contactless cards has continued to rise. The survey found that 9% of respondents had either a contactless credit or debit card (or both). While 9% may not seem like a large amount, it is worth noting that this 9% represents approximately 35 million contactless cards in circulation, a substantial increase from the 19 million cards reported just one year ago. As consumer and merchant acceptance of this product continues to grow, members may come to expect this technology from their financial institution.
New Advancements Add to Member Convenience
Another intriguing development in card technology is coming in the opportunity to issue of unembossed cards. Recently approved for issuance by Visa, these cards carry similar information to a traditional plastic debit or credit card, but the information is printed directly on the card, rather than being raised and embossed. The benefit to these unembossed cards comes in the option for instant issuance, allowing the credit union to provide members with working debit cards directly at the point of account opening, allowing them access to ATMs and make debit purchases without having to wait for the new card to be mailed to them. Already we are seeing credit unions rolling out this technology as they strive to provide the quickest and most convenient service options to their members.
For more information on recent advancements in debit and credit cards, and to hear from credit unions who are finding greater success in their debit card programs through increased cross-selling and deepened member relationships, join us November 6th for our upcoming webinar Maximizing the Value of Your Debit Card Program.