Not many things in life are constant, but what I’ve learned is at least one thing is – change. I’ve been witnessing massive changes and disruptions within the banking and financial industry in recent years and I don’t see any signs of it slowing down. With these changes, financial institutions need to re-evaluate their programs, services and offerings in order to mitigate costs and waste, as well as making sure they are still bringing value to their customers.

Current trends driving change

Banks and financial institutions in general are facing a confluence of challenges and trends, which together create more complexity for more established traditional players.

Another major challenge? The constant barrage of new entrants into the market. Neobanks have come on the scene offering account opening, card issuance and customer support fully online. Fintechs have quickly claimed their corners of the market like peer-to-peer payments giant Paypal. Big tech firms such as Apple and Google are dipping their toes into the market by offering financial services like lending, digital wallets, and credit cards. Each of these new entrants face less regulatory oversight, allowing them to operate more nimbly. This surge in competition has pushed more “traditional” competitors to jump on the digitization train, enhancing their physical card portfolio with digital options, including online banking or mobile payment options.

We all know the economy is challenged right now and that has had an effect on the financial and banking industry. Chip shortages and the rising cost of goods are negatively impacting technology providers, banks and card manufacturers. With all of the above happening, consumers are also driving change. Cardholders demand more digital experiences, visiting branches in person less frequently. This demand stems from the desire for the ability to access services when and where its most convenient for them.

Three considerations for a unified card portfolio

To stay competitive, banks and other financial institutions need to reduce costs and enhance their product offering to meet the challenges of today and adapt with changes in the market. What follows are three considerations for reducing costs and waste, while providing upgraded experiences for digital and physical cardholders.

  1. Implement Entrust Production Analytics for central issuance operations. This solution provides on-going insights necessary to solve analytical and operational challenges at the client site and improves on-going tracking processes. Benefits includes improving efficiency and gaining production control; meeting production goals in less time; gathering data to support improvement plans, and gaining insight into the perfect machine configuration. Customers invest millions of dollars into their central issuance solutions and spend a lot of man-hours to operate them − they can’t afford to mismanage this complex business and are looking to increase system performance, availability, and quality.
  2. Incorporate digital cards into your portfolio of services. Digital card issuance has been known to reduce card customer service costs quite significantly.  These reductions come in the form of an improved distribution chain. Cards can be issued digitally right away and fully activated, allowing for physical issuance to come later if the cardholder desires. This provides the cardholder more flexibility when choosing how they want to make payments, as well as peace of mind they can still rely on a physical card when they need to. If the cardholder does not want a physical card, the financial institution sees a reduction of material and production costs, as well as much less waste.
  3. Give cardholders the tools they need for self-service. Allowing customers access to the tools needed to take care of their needs on without assistance gives them satisfaction while also reducing customer service costs. Potential services cardholders can handle on their own right from their banking app may include changing their PIN, token manager, authenticate themselves, and card management, to name a few. These self-service offerings means less need for staff to perform administrative tasks like printing and mailing PINs or replacement cards, for example. Banks can consider reframing the role of the branch – positioning them as more of a relationship building hub than a place to transact with the bank.

It’s not about replacing what works, it’s about answering your customers’ needs with a unified card portfolio that will provide them a seamless and elevated cardholder experience that meets their needs. Incorporating Production Analytics, self-service options and digital cards are a great way for banks and other payment card issuers to reduce card issuance costs and customer service costs. Utilizing these solutions allows banks and financial institutions to reduce costs and waste while focusing on the more essential parts of their relationship with the cardholder.

For more information on how Entrust can help enable you to unify your card portfolio, visit our website: