Instantaneous EMV card issuance translates into a higher activation yield for payment card issuers

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[ This article was originally published here ]

Most EMV cards issued today reach their cardholders several days after the user completes their application. Cards get delivered via postal mail and a second mail provides the PIN code information, sometimes one or two additional days later.

Although this is a very familiar user experience for most cardholders, this method of card issuance typically means a tremendous loss of opportunities for financial services firms and can be highly inconvenient for the cardholder for four key reasons – which we’ll detail below. These challenges help to underline why the deployment of instant card issuance as the mainstream card issuance solution is an incredibly important development for Financial Institutions.


Loss of activation yield for the issuer

Cardholders can change their mind in just a matter of two or three days. A potential customer can complete an application for a new card on Monday, then decide that this new card is unnecessary on Thursday when it arrives in the mail. It’s pretty much a fundamental rule in commerce: once the purchasing decision is made, close the deal immediately. If someone applies for a new card on Monday and gets it right away, the chances they will run away are much lower and the overall activation yield is greater for the issuers. US data from Aite Group reveals that there’s up to a 32% greater activation rate thanks to instant card issuance.

Loss of transactions for the issuer

When it takes seven days or more for a card to reach a cardholder, that’s seven days without shopping using that card. If we multiply this by, say, 1000 new customers for the bank in any given year, that’s 7000 shopping days that are lost. Instant Card issuance not only gains those days back, but it also increases the chance for the newly issued card to become top of the wallet. According to Aite Group for the US market, what this means is that cards that go through the instant issuance channel generate ten more transactions in the first 30 days compared with usual postal mail issued cards.

Reduced waiting time and customer satisfaction

As we move further into the digital age, the chances that people are willing to wait for a service are getting smaller and smaller. When was the last time anyone enjoyed waiting for a service? Getting a new card right away increases chances that the card will be used by the cardholder and will clearly generate more satisfaction, which in turn means a more pleasant user experience. The same can be said for when a PIN is delivered via the Bank mobile app which provides an all-round real customer-centric digital experience. With cards clearly adopting a more digital-first model, it’s about time that financial services firms follow suit.

Higher application rates due to opportunistic sales

EMV cards can be instantaneously issued at the bank’s branch, but also anywhere secure kiosks can be located – such as a shopping mall. Consumers can be motivated to spend by the desire and opportunity to purchase what they want. If consumers can see the benefit of signing up to a new card in that immediate context, the chances that they will apply for that new card are higher. The bottom line is that by making instant issuance available, at the right place and time associated with shopping desires, it can really help to boost applications.

More cards issued, higher customer satisfaction, more opportunistic applications and, ultimately, more transactions are among the many reasons why we believe EMV instant card issuance is the future mainstream delivery experience. Find out how to make it happen here.