I want my card and I want it instantly!

sang's picture

Recently, I found myself traveling for three weeks out of the month around South Asia for work.

With this increase in travel, I thought it would be a great idea to apply for an airline credit card since it would accelerate my frequent flyer points and eventually avail me to a variety of privileges in my daily life.

However, it turned out not to be as simple as it sounded. It took almost an entire month to actually receive the card. Isn’t this shocking in the age of instant issuance? In the end, I didn’t even activate the card, which ultimately equates to wasted money for the card issuer who manufactured the card and mailed it to me. Eventually I cut the card into pieces and threw it away. I am sure I am not the only one who had done this. Think of the opportunity cost to card issuers if there are hundreds are thousands of customers like me out there.

Since I work for HID Global’s secure issuance business, I know this problem could easily be solved with instant issuance using a desktop printer.

Recently I had a chance to share my experience with some card issuers at a payment event in Kuala Lumpur. It was no surprise that most of the payment card issuers that I spoke with had no clue about desktop financial card printers. They also were not aware that the payment associations, such as VISA® and MasterCard® have approved the use of such printers for instant issuance of on demand payment cards! One card issuer who stopped by HID’s booth exclaimed that this is exactly what they need.

Many card issuers see a path to increase their card profit by reducing operational cost and increasing usage through faster card activation or enticing rewards programs. I learned in Indonesia that some Shariyah banks take two months to deliver ATM cards to their customers in the Aceh province. Instant issuance is definitely the answer for them.

In summary, why should card issuers consider instant issuance solutions?
- Lift activation rate
- Faster 1st transaction
- No worries about extra costs, theft and losses in the process of card delivery
- Cost reduction in inventory control and logistics
- Provides better customer experience
- Effective marketing tool
- Increases customers’ loyalty/affinity

Obviously cardholders and card issuers both could both benefit from instant issuance solutions, and in near future, we can expect this to be a growing trend in the payment and loyalty card space.