Instant Issuance: In the Cards for Credit Unions?
With the evolution to more self-service interactions, instant card issuance provides members with a good reason to visit credit unions, which can then deliver securely activated cards directly into their hands.
It also provides members with human contact while improving satisfaction and the opportunity for credit unions to cross-sell other products and services, and improve revenue.
“Instant, convenient and on consumers’ terms aren’t just the driving forces for digital channels – they’re also changing people’s expectations for the physical branch,” a Fiserv report, “As the Branch Transforms, Immediate Card Delivery Offers Instant Satisfaction,” declared. “As the branch continues to evolve from transactional to high-touch service, instant card issuance is one of those services consumers will appreciate – and increasingly expect.”
Sharon Pazlar, director, output solutions, Fiserv, said, “We’re already seeing the first indications that a mainstay in the branch of the future will be instant card issuance.” Forty-six percent of the top 50 U.S. banks and credit unions by asset size already adopted the technology, according to Mercator Advisory Group’s “Instant Issuance of Debit Cards: The Newest Best Practice” report.
Instant in-branch card issuance usually complements central card issuance, mailed cards. Pazlar pointed out a mix of central and instant issuance creates positive involvement for accountholders and meets consumers' increasing expectations for immediacy.
Credit unions, also want to enhance the member experience. “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,” Pazlar explained.
The average interval to receive a card from most financial institutions is 7-10 days for new starts and reissues. Among debit card users who received a new card, 1 in 5 picked up their card in a branch, according to Fiserv research.
Consumers that receive the card by mail don’t always activate the card immediately or at all upon receipt. “That is all lost income opportunity. The financial benefit to the credit union is incremental interchange revenue, higher activation and usage rates,” Alyssa Arredondo, director financial vertical marketing at Entrust Datacard, noted. Cards not activate could also turn it into a card compromise situation.
“That seven-day period often results in criminal interchange for financial institutions,” Arredondo pointed out. She added Entrust Datacard studies and customers validate this data.
Fiserv’s consumer preferences research underscores the gap between people receiving their cards by mail and activating them. Only 63% of respondents activated their debit card the day it arrived, with 22% doing so within a week and 9% taking a month or longer.
Read the full article in the Aug. 9 edition of CUTimes