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5 Things to Consider When Evaluating a Card Solutions Provider

CPI Dual INterface Card

In today’s fast-paced, lean environment, having a single-source provider to oversee every detail of your portfolio just makes business sense. In selecting that relationship, card issuers should identify a supplier whose culture and values align with their own, and who has the expertise to guide the program on its journey from launch to ongoing execution.

Certainly, card issuance is not a siloed endeavor. Each component builds upon the previous one to create a tailored experience that meets the cardholder’s needs. Finding the right solution team is key to a streamlined experience, and card issuers should seek providers that can deliver these specific benefits:


The ability to reduce operational burdens

EMV® and dual-interface card production requires cryptographic key loading and programming for transport between facilities. Working with one vendor across operations supports a simplified issuer experience that aligns with industry requirements. Look for a supplier that can manage those changes for you.


Options that align with internal strategies

No two card issuers are the same, and neither should their issuance programs be. Regardless of issuer size, options like instant issuance and print-on-demand offer great alternatives to consider for targeted or medium- to small-scale projects. A full-service personalization bureau can support a larger vision and ensure a custom experience for issuers to meet cardholders where they are.


Awareness of the latest industry developments – and the ability to offer relevant solutions

Issuers can and should adjust portfolios to meet emerging considerations, and vendors should have technology teams in place to support expansion. Securing a collaborative team that offers technical IT resources to help identify the best ways to evolve will enable a stronger long-term experience.


The right positioning for your programs

Developing a holistic strategy that includes components to help drive your card to top-of-wallet status with customers is crucial. From differentiated design to more eco-focused materials and payment choices, you can help motivate customers to pull your card out first. This approach will help drive smart economics and lifetime customer value to your institution.


The capacity to implement a program from production to fulfillment

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, as card managers look to implement their products more efficiently, having a single resource for production to fulfillment helps to both offer a consistent experience and simplify operations.

Making the right choice up front will go a long way toward streamlining operations, enhancing efficiency, and strengthening interchange revenue opportunities. Use these 5 questions to evaluate a card solutions provider:

  1. Does this provider have deep expertise and knowledge in the card space?
  2. What kind of customer service does the provider offer? Will my team have access to full-service support if they need it?
  3. Does the provider offer solutions from production through fulfillment? If not, what is my plan for each stage of issuance?
  4. Does the provider offer a range of solutions to allow my program to grow and evolve as needed?
  5. How will the provider meet unique requests in support of my brand?


Finding the right provider that can offer the solutions you need is critical not only for your business but for the customer experience as well. Loyalty depends on how easy it is for your customers to do business with you. By providing a simple and seamless experience for them, you’ll ensure they keep coming back well into the future.

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About the author

John Lowe

President and Chief Executive Officer
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