Today’s consumers have a growing appetite for instant gratification. The on-demand economy provides immediate accessibility like never before, changing how consumers see convenience with everything from shopping and dining to entertainment and transportation. To complement the growing popularity of immediate servicing, financial institutions are turning to instant card issuance. Through technology, the physical branch experience can become a more welcome part of customers’ lifestyle.

Convenience in the On-Demand Era

On-demand convenience is becoming more of the norm than the exception, making its way into many facets of consumers’ daily lives. People can hail a ride at a moment’s notice, have dinner delivered whenever they feel like it, pay bills with a few clicks or even apply for a mortgage in a matter of minutes. Collectively, these frictionless experiences are shifting the baseline of consumer expectations. This makes waiting to receive a new debit card in the mail feel extremely outdated by comparison.

With an instant issuance solution, a branch can print cards for customers onsite. This allows financial institutions to deliver a level of on-demand convenience consumers expect, while connecting customers to instant purchasing power at the same time. The seamless branch experience helps the banking public see their financial institution as not only “customer-first”, but also modern and tech-savvy. This can be a competitive advantage and support account holder loyalty and retention for financial institutions. Eighty-six percent of consumers will use their branches in the future and want human interaction when they do. Instant issuance allows just that while creating time for customer engagement.

The Need for Branch Transformation

Juniper Research forecasts that the number of global digital banking users will reach nearly 3 billion by 2021 – representing approximately 50 percent of adults globally. And while the percentage of consumers banking digitally continues to rise, J.D. Power and Associates states that three-quarters of consumers continue to use branches in addition to digital channels.  Additionally, “as Millennials grow older, they express increasing interest in visiting a physical location once they have exhausted their online research.”  Given consumers continue to prefer using traditional credit and debit cards for purchases, the opportunity for card issuance in branch may increase in-person visits to branches and provide the opportunity to answer questions and provide related financial advice.

No website or mobile app can put a new or replacement physical card into an accountholder’s hand as quickly as a branch with instant issuance.  While digital banking can support instant card issuance for mobile wallet usage, the ability to print physical cards on-site and on-demand, provides branches with a unique convenience that supports both cardholders’ preferred way to pay and at times, desires for financial information and advice.

A SaaS-based instant issuance solution with plug-and-play capabilities can be a simple and cost-effective way for banks or credit unions to evolve their branch experience while providing value that reinvigorates their brick-and-mortar operations and delivers customer traffic – which can make both dollars and sense.

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Written by:

Rob Dixon is the Card@Once Product Manager at CPI Card Group.