Digital transformation: Card innovation can no longer wait

As COVID-19 changes the way consumers interact with banks and credit unions, and tech giants redefine expectations for what is possible in digital card experience, transformation has taken on more urgency. Even financial institutions with aggressive innovation roadmaps find themselves reacting to increased demands for fresh technology. What can issuers do to speed up their plans and respond to consumer needs?

The past year has brought a tidal wave of change to banking and digital-first cards have come to the forefront of the new standards being created. Large financial institutions were already heavily investing in digital, but now there’s also a new segment of players on the banking field — Big Tech.

Big tech companies see an opportunity in banking to provide the experiences that consumers have become accustomed to in other areas of their lives. A triple threat arises when you combine the dollar spend from big banks, the power of big tech and the ongoing pandemic. Regional and community card issuers must make digital a focus to retain and attract new cardholders.

The necessity for innovation hasn’t been lost on smaller issuers, but their focus has often been hazy. They know digital is important, but for many banks and credit unions the urgency has been on other types of advancements — not on cards.

Yet payment cards have become the primary focus of innovation in digital banking transformation. A few reasons why:

  • Cards are the most frequent and important interaction financial institutions have with their account holders.


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