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Instant-issue debit bears benefits

Happier customers likely to regard bank as “innovative”

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Instant-issue debit bears benefits

Cardholders are 22% more likely to be very-to-extremely satisfied with their bank if they have received an instantly issued debit card instead of a card sent by mail, according to a new Javelin study sponsored by Entrust Datacard.

The study also found that cardholders who receive their card instantly in a branch often start using it immediately, accruing between $0.50 to $0.77 in additional interchange revenue for their bank during the first month.

As consumer expectations for on-demand services rise, a growing number of banks and credit unions are shifting debit card distribution from mail delivery to instant issuance.

“While financial institutions traditionally focus on the monetary benefit of instant issuance, our research shows it can also empower them to address growing customer demand for immediate service—from opening a new account to replacing lost or stolen cards,” says Nick Holland, analyst for Javelin Strategy and the study’s lead author.

Holland says that smaller institutions, such as community banks and credit unions, are leading adoption of instant issuance. He says they see the service as a competitive advantage over larger players.

More points about instant issue

Other key findings from the study include:

Customers value the convenience of instant issuance and that extends to overall satisfaction with their bank. Instant-issuance customers are more likely to believe their bank is innovative (64% vs. 48%).

The satisfaction gap between banks with and without instant issuance is wider for customers replacing lost or stolen cards. Instant-issuance customers were 30% more likely to be very-to-extremely satisfied with their bank when replacing a lost or compromised card, compared to those who received a centrally issued card by mail.

Financial institutions can use the time it takes to print a card in-branch to deepen customer relationships. Survey respondents reported that employees in their branches use this time—5 to 15 minutes—to better understand customers’ individual needs and then cross-sell relevant products and services.

Up to 40% of centrally issued debit cards are never activated, but activation may reach 100% for instantly issued cards. Executives at financial institutions placed activation rates at 60% to 70% for centrally issued cards while activation of instantly issued cards in-branch can reach up to 100%.

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