The payments landscape is fiercely competitive and financial institutions are racing to transform their customer payment experience in order to appeal to more consumers. It’s clear that from app to branch to mail, consumers are looking for intuitive payment options that get them what they need when and how they need it. Financial institutions that can deliver on that desire for choice and flexibility in a frictionless way will win the customer every time.

In fact, in a survey we conducted across nine countries earlier this year, the majority of the 1,350 respondents told us the top factor in choosing a bank is flexible payment options. Further, only about half of the consumers interested in digital cards were able to access one.

Be digital-first, but not digital-only

Having the ability to leverage all communication channels in a secure, unified manner fosters trust and increases brand affinity. Sometimes consumers prefer doing business in-branch so they can talk to a live person about their specific banking needs. Sometimes using a physical contactless card at point of sale does the trick. And in other scenarios consumers simply want to cash a physical paycheck or disable a card from their phone. Independently, each payment option has its merits, but when offered seamlessly together they become a powerful acquisition tool.

Banking App – Instantly issuing and activating debit and credit cards to a bank’s own app allows the bank to maintain branding and personalization throughout issuance to transaction and card management, while still providing a digital-first experience.

xPay” Enablement – Leveraging an automated push provisioning from the banking appinto an xPay mobile wallet (i.e., Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.) allows cardholders to securely push their Visa and Mastercard cards directly into these third-party digital wallets.

In-Branch – Create and capitalize on in-person customer interactions while growing card volume, revenue, and brand affinity by instantly issuing activated physical debit and credit cards.

ATM/ITM or Kiosk – Meet your customers where they are by leveraging self-service or interactive teller machines (AITMs) for more than just cash withdrawals. Offering instant issuance at your kiosks provides that extra touch for cardholders looking for another way to replace or get a new card on the go.

Mail – Don’t overlook your existing card mailing program. Deliver the latest payment card innovation directly to your client’s mailbox and increase their likelihood to activate the card with full-color, personalized card delivery systems.

While some consumers vastly prefer one option over all others, we are increasingly seeing a large swath who use a diverse mix of channels to bank depending on what they are doing. A truly unified financial issuance program elevates what is a primary banking experience – receiving a debit or credit card – and gives your financial institution differentiation ultimately leading to increased customer acquisition rates.

The future of payments and banking will continue to be digital-first, but without a seamless tie to an elegantly mailed payment card, one issued from a branch representative or even interactive teller machine, it’s impossible to fully deliver on the expectations of today’s modern consumers.

To learn more about Entrust payment solutions, visit

To learn more about the many considerations to think about when offering digital payment options read my colleague Jenn Markey’s recent blog, Thinking Digital Cards? Don’t be the next Kodachrome camera or Sony Walkman.