The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced change in numerous industries including the payments industry, with many of these changes here to stay.  Financial institution strategies have evolved out of progressing consumer expectations and necessity due to the pandemic.  Seamless and frictionless customer experiences are an important consideration in any company strategy and product or service portfolio.

Take the branch drive-through for example; as cities went on “lockdown” in the beginning of the pandemic, branches temporarily closed their lobbies, relying on the drive-thru to accommodate customer needs for a new or replacement card.

Instantly issued cards are a great element in any financial institution’s customer service strategy, growing in popularity before the pandemic began.  Instantly issued cards have been provided through the drive-thru before COVID-19 created a “new normal”.  The pandemic just highlighted the convenience and efficiency of this option.

Financial institutions have seen an increase in demand for instantly issued cards through the drive-thru since the pandemic began, and Simmons Bank, with approximately 200 locations in seven states, is one example.  Simmons Bank saw a 40% increase in cards printed from January 2020 to July 2020.  That trend continues in recent months, with a continued increase in cards printed and issued through the drive-thru. “Within a short window of time, our associates worked together to safely and exponentially increase access of instant issuance cards,” said Franklin Shirrell, EVP Chief Retail Officer for Simmons Bank. “Even in the midst of a pandemic, our associates continue to ensure our customers safely have access to the products and services they need.”

The ease and convenience of instantly issued cards through the drive-thru might be drivers behind the practice becoming a staple in a financial institution’s customer experience strategy.  Simmons Bank noted a consistent amount of cardholders receiving their debit card through the drive-thru even though most branch lobbies are open.

Cardholder demands are consistently evolving and instant issuance is an important element in any customer experience strategy.  Whether you are implementing an instant issuance solution as a new strategy or enhancing a current one, payment card issuance on-demand, whether in branch or through the drive-thru, is something to consider. Instantly issued payment cards are a viable option for various card formats including EMV® and dual interface, for those seeking a touch-free contactless experience.

To learn more about Card@Once® instant issuance, click here.