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Instant Issuance Offers A Competitive Edge While Elevating The Cardholder Experience

Card@Once Spectrum and Precision 2.0 Instant Issuance Cards

Help build value and trust with your cardholders through the convenience of in-branch instant issuance.

In banking, experience is king. A recent McKinsey & Company study found a correlation between customer satisfaction and purchasing decisions—customers who are satisfied with their banking experiences say they will purchase more of that bank’s products. Moreover, satisfied customers are 6 times more likely to say they’ll remain with a bank than dissatisfied customers.

Outstanding experiences help to drive higher rates of loyalty and enthusiasm for your brand. And as competition for wallet share increases, forging strong, loyal relationships with your customers is critical.

Instant issuance is one way to provide an outstanding experience in the moments that matter, including during a new account opening and when the customer is under stress due to their card being lost, stolen, or compromised.

What is Instant Issuance?

Instant issuance enables cardholders to obtain a debit or credit card immediately upon request—simply by walking into their local bank or credit union branch. This service allows customers to apply for a new card or replace an existing one and have it printed and activated on the spot.

By utilizing specialized card-printing equipment within the branch, the waiting time typically associated with traditional card delivery methods is eliminated, offering customers greater convenience and quicker access to their preferred method of payment. Additionally, instant issuance enhances security by reducing the risk of cards being lost or stolen in the mail.

Better yet, the cardholder can use their card immediately anywhere it is accepted. Modern instant issuance programs are highly sophisticated and flexible, allowing financial institutions to offer a range of options, including EMV or dual-interface contactless cards. Cards can be printed on a variety of substrate materials, including recycled plastic cards, traditional PVC, and even wood!

5 reasons to offer instant issuance

Instant issuance offers several compelling benefits to both issuers and cardholders. Here are 5 ways this service can help your financial institution meet your payment portfolio growth goals:


A better cardholder experience


Today’s consumer expects to receive immediate responses to their requests. If they must wait, they can quickly become frustrated and decide to take their business elsewhere. With instant issuance, your cardholder is no longer forced to wait up to two weeks to receive a card in the mail. Now, they can get a new card in minutes—simply by visiting their local branch.


Higher activation rates


Studies have shown that instant issuance can help increase activation rates and initial usage by eliminating the delays of traditional card issuance. With instant issuance, cardholders can have a card in hand before leaving the branch, allowing them to start spending the very same day.


Supports top-of-wallet status

Instantly issued cards help increase activation rates substantially and boost usage, particularly during the critical first few weeks of receiving a new card.


Cost savings


Once implemented, in-branch instant issuance programs are highly cost-effective. Issuers no longer incur the costs associated with central issuance, such as packaging, mailing, and postage.


Reduced fraud


Instant issuance securely delivers a fully activated debit or credit card directly into your cardholder’s hands. Because the cardholder receives their debit or credit card in person, rather than through the mail, the likelihood of the card being lost, stolen or compromised is greatly reduced.

Everybody wins

There’s a reason why nearly two-thirds (63%) of the top 50 U.S. banks and credit unions offer instant issuance, according to the Mercator Advisory Group (now Javelin Strategy & Research). Offering instant issuance can drive additional traffic to your branch, allowing you to spend more face-to-face time with your cardholders. It also helps you maintain a competitive edge by keeping pace with evolving consumer preferences, including demands for immediate gratification and payment convenience. Not only will this technology help strengthen your relationship with your cardholders, but it can support cross-selling additional services and payment portfolio growth, as well.

As a stand-alone service or a complementary component of a comprehensive payment card program, instant issuance offers convenience, security and flexibility to meet your cardholders’ needs. That translates to stronger relationships, enhanced portfolio growth and top-of-wallet positioning for your financial institution.

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Scott Baker

About the author

Scott Baker

is CPI's VP Card@Once
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