On-Demand Instant Issuance is in the Payment Cards
In recent years, much of the focus for instant issuance solutions of payment cards shifted from educating credit unions on its benefits to helping enhancing its on-demand convenience for members.
Instant issuance for new starts and reissues gives members reasons to visit credit unions, which can then deliver securely-activated payment cards directly to them. The question becomes how to set up the infrastructure: software-for-purchase (in-house) or software-as-a-service process (outsourced).
Rob Dixon, head of product and business development for the Littleton, Colo.-based CPI Card Group’s Card@Once solution held, when a credit union looks at an instant issuance program, there’s several business case drivers to choose from including higher activation and utilization.
The average time to receive a shipped physical card from most financial institutions is seven to 10 days. In addition, consumers getting their card by mail don’t always activate it immediately, which obviously diminishes transactions and the fees associated with them.
“It’s become more on demand. You almost don’t have to wait for a lot of things anymore,” Dixon maintained. With an on demand instant issuance program when members come in for a card they are going to leave with an actual card. “You can walk out and you can use that card to make transactions and you’re not going to get another card in the mail,” Dixon said. “You’re going to get the card into the user’s hand immediately. They’re going to use it more in the short term and long term.”
Dixon pointed out once a credit union decides to move forward with instant issuance there are two directions they can chose as the delivery mode:
- In SFP the financial institution owns and maintains the software and the servers.
- In the SaaS model the financial institution chooses a web-based cloud-solution and the service supplier hosts the software.
The in-house model requires the financial institution to not only to purchase the printer, and all accessories such as the card stock and ribbons required to print the card, but also the hardware security modules needed including servers. Dixon pointed they must also have the IT personnel in place to maintain and support it.
In addition, there is also the EMV element. For some banks and credit unions, a larger EMV conversion project can absorb an instant issuance solution. Before a payment brand will allow an institution to begin printing EMV chip cards, they must successfully complete the EMV certification process. credit unions would get keys from your transaction processor in a software for purchase model, Dixon explained. “The institution will be responsible for updating their HSM for the new keys as well as testing any new keys that are loaded. For an SFP instant issuance solution where an institution has never certified for EMV, all the steps in the EMV certification process are necessary before printing EMV cards.
“If you have a, a large IT team within your institution, you’re more likely to be able to handle the requirements of a software for purchase,” Dixon said. He added they also need the knowledge internally to set up servers, handle software and update distribution, and preserve industry compliance.
SaaS instant issuance suppliers also need to extensively test the financial institution’s EMV keys. But the third-party vendor is largely responsible for loading those keys into a central centrally located HSM.
“If you don’t have a significant IT organization, you’re not going to have the level of expertise required to support all those elements and therefore a SaaS based model is probably a better fit,” Dixon noted. In the SaaS model, essentially the institution is responsible for purchasing the printer and the consumables but the maintenance of that program sits with the vendor providing it.
The Card@Once model provides software accessible from any computer and does not require the purchase of extra servers or network setup. All communication occurs through a secure web service they manage and maintain. The total Card@Once installations are currently at 8,400, which includes numerous credit unions.