Article

Upgrading Your Branch for the On-Demand Consumer

white clock and credit card on blue and pink
By Rob Dixon

3 minutes

Instant issuance of cards creates a positive member experience.

Sponsored by CPI Card Group

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, credit unions can turn to instant card issuance. Through technology, the physical branch experience can become a more welcome part of credit union members’ 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 This makes waiting to receive a new debit card in the mail feel extremely outdated by comparison.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 fully personalized cards for members onsite. This allows credit unions to deliver a level of on-demand convenience consumers expect, while at the same time connecting cardholders to instant purchasing power. The seamless branch experience helps the consumers see their credit union as not only “members-first,” but also modern and tech-savvy. This can be a competitive advantage and support account holder loyalty and retention for credit unions. Instant issuance allows just that, while creating time for member engagement and personalizing the experience in the branch.

Creating a Personalized In-Branch Experience That Digital-Only Options Can’t

While online-only banks invest to build out online and mobile banking, they are being met with lower customer satisfaction scores. In a J.D Power U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, it is reported that customer satisfaction declines when the customer moves to a more digital-only banking experience. On a 1,000-point scale of overall satisfaction, digital-only customers rated their satisfaction at 801, compared to 824 for branch-dependent bank customers.

Despite the emergence of digital-only options, cardholders still visit bank branches. No digital-only option 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 fully personalized physical cards onsite 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. Cardholders visiting a branch for card issuance may increase in-person visits to branches, providing the credit union with the opportunity to answer questions and provide related financial advice.  

Although an in-branch instant issuance solution can complement a mailed card program, some issuers may prefer to adopt instant issuance as their only means of card issuance—and find a high-image-quality solution available to provide personalized cards on-demand. Implementing a SaaS-based instant issuance solution with plug-and-play capabilities can be a simple and cost-effective way for credit unions to evolve their branch experience while providing value that reinvigorates their brick-and-mortar operations and delivers member traffic—which can make both dollars and sense.

Rob Dixon is director of product and business development at CPI Card Group. Dixon is responsible for leading large-scale initiatives, focused on Instant Issuance, card personalization, prepaid and secure cards. His experience spans over 10 years, working for and supporting leading companies in the financial services and payments industry. Learn more about Card@Once®, CPI’s cloud-based Software as a Service instant issuance solution.

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