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3 Ways Instant Issuance Meets Consumer Expectations

Satisfying the need-it-now ethos can help the branch secure the member relationship.

Fueled by consumer expectations, instant card issuance continues to expand to branches throughout the country. In fact, Aite Group recently estimated the number of U.S. branches using the technology will grow from 46,444 this year to 67,075 in 2021. Still, one major bank recently went in the other direction, citing fraud concerns for its decision to stop offering the service.

There are many reasons to believe the bank’s decision marks an exception rather than the rule. For evidence, look no further than consumers’ heightened expectations for their branch experience. They want the same speed and convenience they get through digital channels, the promise of security, and the technology that matches the speed of their lives.

Giving consumers activated cards when they walk into the branch means people can start using them as soon as they walk out the door.

Those expectations are more than a trend; they’re the reality of financial services today. They’re also what’s behind the growing popularity of instant issuance.

3 Reasons For Instant Issuance

There are many reasons instant issuance remains a vital offering for financial institutions. Here are three.

1. Consumers demand it.

Services such as instant issuance can be game-changers for financial institutions. For instance, 44% of consumers say getting a debit card at a branch would influence where they bank, according to the 2016 Fiserv Insights: Consumer Preferences and Document Delivery survey. And 51% said it’s very important to get a debit card at a branch.

Consumers expect the physical branch to match their experience when buying a book online or sending a digital payment to a friend. They want financial institutions to translate click-and-go into a branch experience.

2. The branch still matters.

Self-service channels continue to outpace the branch in terms of frequency of use, but Fiserv consumer research shows that many people value branch and in-person interactions. Branches still are relevant to all generations, with 54% of consumers with a bank account visiting a branch in the preceding month, according to the 2017 Expectations Experiences: Channels and New Entrants report from Fiserv.

Those consumers, especially millennials, expect in-person interactions to mirror the convenience of other channels. Those expectations are informing how the branch evolves and highlighting instant issuance’s place in that evolution.

3. Card activation drives revenue.

The U.S. market’s active debit card rate has held steady between 65% and 68% for the past several years, according to multiple industry analysts. If cards aren’t activated, they can’t affect interchange revenue for financial institutions. The Consumer Preferences research highlights the gap between people receiving their cards and activating them. Only 63% of consumers activated their debit card the day it arrived in the mail.

Giving consumers activated cards when they walk into the branch means people can start using them as soon as they walk out the door.

Giving consumers activated cards when they walk into the branch means people can start using them as soon as they walk out the door.

Security And Convenience Can Coexist

Preventing fraud, providing convenience, and enhancing the consumer experience are all critical. But they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

There are concrete steps financial institutions can take to ensure security and meet consumer expectations for speed and ease. Take, for instance, palm vein authentication, which, when combined with instant card issuance, creates a secure, holistic experience. A consumer who visits a branch for a new debit card can get a palm vein scan in less time than it takes to pull out an ID and walk out minutes later with an activated card.

That’s how branches evolve. And that’s how financial institutions rise to meet consumer expectations for security, speed, and convenience.

This article is sponsored by a recognized solutions provider in the credit union industry. Callahan & Associates does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer, and the views and opinions offered here might not reflect those of Callahan. If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact the Callahan team at ads@creditunions.com or 1-800-446-7453.
December 4, 2017

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