It could be argued that COVID-19 has changed the way we connect, work and shop more than any other single event in the last decade. As stay-at-home orders loosen, what will be our new normal? Many experts expect consumers will be hesitant to fall back into their old habits – patronizing restaurants, visiting their favorite brick and mortar stores, and making a trip to the bank.

Businesses are rethinking how to conduct safe transactions as they plan to reopen. In a reversal, many businesses that previously didn’t accept credit cards now are starting to ban the use of cash in their stores to reduce the spread of contaminants. For example, in Europe a recent report stated there has been an increase of payment cards now accepted at 13 million outlets. With more outlets accepting payments via card, more customers will need those cards in hand.

According to the World Bank, approximately 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked, or do not have a bank account. Some governments and regulatory agencies are pushing for financial institutions to close the gap. For example, Australia recently announced they are sending half a million debit cards to bank customers who don’t have a card today. And, credit card companies are bringing forward more appealing offers to entice new customers. All of these organizations will need to get these cards to their customers more quickly, efficiently, and most importantly – cleanly.

Financial Institutions Pivot to Minimize Human Contact

Financial institutions are adjusting to this new reality in terms of how they distribute cards – right from the start. The goal for financial institutions: limited human contact with the new card until it reaches the cardholder – bringing them peace of mind.

With what appears to be a coming surge of card replacement and new card distribution, the answer is a streamlined, flexible, nearly touchless card issuance process that delivers the card from card personalization-to-envelope.

Automation means a cleaner, safer card when the cardholder receives it because it limits human interaction as the equipment packages up the card in a mail-ready envelope for the financial institution.

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These capabilities are quickly moving from nice-to-have to table stakes as consumers demand touchless experiences from the institutions they need to trust the most.

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