Three smart ways banks can secure instant issuance

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[ This article was originally published here ]

A user’s payment card experience is in the middle of a digital revolution. At the heart of this are services like Digital PIN delivery and instant card issuance at a bank’s branch that are designed with cardholder convenience and security in mind. While we previously explored how services like instant issuance are helping to drive activation yield for financial institutions, this post discusses how instant card issuance provides a powerful user experience for customers, backed by security.

Getting a new banking card into customers’ hands used to take at least 5-10 days between the initial card application and its activation. Now financial institutions are able to turn days into minutes with instant card issuance services that can be carried out in branch. Because consumers increasingly use digital services, like ordering food at the click of a button, it’s important that banks tap into this appetite for convenience.


However, implementing instant issuance at the branch is not just a matter of simply improving logistics. While the ability to issue cards at branches in minutes is a tremendous benefit to both the bank and the cardholder, banking cards are highly personal and secure objects. Providing this useful service in the branch requires extra security steps to be implemented to prevent fraud, waste and excess service time.

Here are three ways that banks can ensure instant issuance services delivered from the branch are as secure as possible.

An alternative to pre-personalised bank cards

Often, card issuers order batches of pre-personalised cards so that the final allocation to their cardholders can be done simply in the branch. This poses a big problem in the event of cards being lost or stolen en route to the branch and then being used fraudulently. Fraud costs rose 9.8% from 2017-2018 for financial institutions with $5-10bn in assets, and 7.8% for institutions with less than $1bn in assets.

An additional, but important, consideration is that if credit cards have pre-printed valid through dates (i.e. ‘valid from’ and ‘expires end’ dates) then the longer they are sitting idly not being used, the shorter the lifespan of the card when issued to the cardholder.

However, there are now ways for these security and convenience concerns about pre-personalised cards to be addressed by banks. Certain services can ensure that all personalisation steps are performed when the cardholder is present at the branch in the same simplified manner as if they were picking up a pre-personalised card – ensuring a positive user experience.

Ribbon masking technology

While this year has seen a rise in the incidence of ‘web skimming’ – where customer data is stolen from online stores – due to the fact that millions of us are spending more time at home than ever before, obtaining physical credit cards for criminal means is still an attractive prospect to fraudsters.

Criminals will try every possible method to steal or clone issued cards. One popular and relatively easy trick is to obtain the used printing ribbon from the card printer to try to recover the card data for cloning cards. In response to this, providers can now deploy an innovative ribbon masking technology to stop this potential route for fraudsters. Using a printer with ribbon masking technology prevents a fraudster not only from skimming cards, but also prevents analysing the printer’s ribbon – an effective example of a good instant issuance solution.

Tracking suspicious activity

Last but certainly not least, for financial institutions looking to deploy instant card issuance at their branches, monitoring real time activity and detecting suspicious issuance spikes is also a key security measure. Fraudsters are likely to attempt multiple card breaches. The historical log of cards issued over time and per site is an effective tool to help spot suspicious trends and stop them. As always, security is a set of defense mechanisms designed to prevent or catch fraud attempts behind the scenes without disturbing the user experience.

For banks looking to tap into the inherent convenience associated with issuing cards instantly in branch, it’s important that their security is setup to tackle these three concerns.

We offer solutions to handle each of these security threats by deploying printers, cards, a Cloud environment and monitoring software to all branches for Instant Card Issuance. This gives banks the ability to offer a supremely convenient and secure user experience.