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The Ultimate Guide to Instant EMV Card Issuance

Promote safety and uptime.

October 30, 2020

Businesses and consumers alike have migrated to EMV cards in the United States, and it's no wonder why. EMV chip technology provides convenience, security, and immediate purchasing power to your customers. For financial institutions, instant EMV card issuance offers you a leg up on your competition and protection against fraud. Let's dive in to what makes EMV and instant issuance so special.

What is an EMV card?

An EMV card, also known as a smart card or chip card, is a credit card embedded with a chip for extra security. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa.

When EMV cards are used in an EMV card reader, they help to greatly increase your protection against card-present fraud. Unlike traditional magnetic stripe (mag-stripe) cards, EMV chip cards encrypt your data, obscuring your actual credit card information from potential threats. According to Fundera, this process is called “tokenization.”

EMV chip cards can be used anywhere your other cards are used, but the chip functionality only works at a business that has an activated chip-enabled payment terminal.

Check out our white paper detailing the challenges of financial institutions that you face today and how some of the biggest players are responding.

What is Instant Issuance?

Banks, financial institutions, and retailers issue EMV cards either by mail or instantly on location. Prior to use, these cards must complete an activation process. In the traditional issuance method, the customer is required to call a phone number or login to a website to complete this activation. However, for customers receiving an Instant EMV card, the card is activated for the customer, giving them immediate buying power.

Many EMV card issuers are moving toward instantly issued cards and for good reason. It guarantees activation, so the financial institution or retailer profits more due to increased use. For the customer, it's easier and more rewarding to receive a credit or debit card immediately.

How does instant issuance benefit your customers?

By offering Instant EMV card issuance, you provide outstanding customer experience:

1. Instant satisfaction

Having a debit or credit card printed instantly, onsite allows your customer to replace a lost, stolen or expired card immediately, as opposed to the painfully slow, seven- to 10-day wait time experienced through central card issuance.

2. Immediate purchasing power

Walking out of the branch with a new card gives the consumer immediate purchase power, which can have a tremendously positive psychological impact.

3. 100 percent activation

Printing on site also means activating in person, while your customer is in the branch. No more putting the card in a drawer, having to call an 800 number or go online sometime to get it working.

4. Personalized PINs

PIN codes can be chosen by your customer while in the branch during the setup process.

5. Unique card designs

Customized card designs offered by leading instant issuance solutions from fintech leaders like Panini, allows clients to personalize their method of payment in a way that is truly theirs.

How does card issuance benefit financial institutions?

1. 100 percent activation

With an industry activation rate of under 60 percent for credit and debit cards issued centrally, the potential for 100 percent card activation on the spot is a real, tangible return on the investment for an instant issuance solution. This means consumers will be able to use their cards as soon as they leave the branch, generating immediate revenue.

2. Foot traffic

One of the key issues with the evolving retail bank industry is the lack of foot traffic in the bank. With instant issuance, your customers have a compelling need to return to the branch. This gives your trained teller staff an opportunity to cross-sell them on other products, services or simply strengthen the relationship and build loyalty.

3. Fraud prevention

With fraud on the rise, financial institutions also benefit from increased card security. Instant issuance confirms that a customer has received the card and is the correct card holder. While many banking operations are moving to mobile, this level of security is important to customers and financial institutions alike. EMV cards are also much more secure at point-of-sale compared to magnetic stripe cards thanks to data encryption.

4. Cost savings

Moving away from central card issuance to instant issuance means reduced costs on card carriers, PIN mailers and 800 number services.

5. An advantage over online competitors

EMV card issuance gives brick-and-mortar financial institutions an advantage over their online counterparts. Modern customers want instant gratification, and with instant issuance, you can deliver. Online financial institutions must rely on traditional card delivery methods.

Offering an instant solution to a customer’s frustration cannot be overstated. They do not want to wait to receive a card in the mail, and instant issuance is proven to increase activation rates and spend for customers. Furthermore, implementing EMV can help build trust with your customers by showing them that you value their protection against fraud. For the foreseeable future, EMV is here to stay.

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