Webinar: 5 Card Issuance Tips to Elevate Your Brand
Cards are king. They’re the most preferred and commonly-used form of payment among consumers, and they provide enterprises with revenue while also promoting customer loyalty. So what does it take to get a great card program off the ground?
Treasury Prime Senior Product Manager in Platform Marina Nelson and Card Program Specialist Desiree Crain described key elements of card issuance in a recent webinar, “From White Label to Premium — Stand Up a Card Program that Elevates Your Brand.”
Read on for five tips for a fast and efficient card launch, so that you can provide your customers with a premium experience and reap the most benefits from interchange revenue. Treasury Prime supports all card issuance mediums: physical, digital, and virtual debit cards.
To learn more about card issuance and launching a card program, watch the full webinar.
1. White label card issuing — Know your timeline
Setting up a physical card program takes 10 to 12 weeks. That’s because there are a lot of steps to take care of before you can be ready to print physical cards:
- Card design
- Feature selection
- Ensure the card design adheres to card network standards
- Get branding approval
- Cardstock printing
During cardstock printing, the card printer prints the card design on every cardstock the enterprise has ordered. Then when all cards have the design printed, they'll be placed in the warehouse and ready to be personalized for card orders.
Meanwhile, your company also needs to consider back-end development. You need to figure out the integration between your app and digital wallets like Apple Pay if you are issuing digital cards, and you need to figure out what the card experience will look like for customers using virtual cards in your app. You also have to take care of important steps like establishing your card program’s BIN or bank identification number.
“It would be advantageous to consider the physical card production timeline along with your own internal development timeline so that you can get to market quicker,” said Crain.
2. Understand your debit card issuing volume
To generate virtual debit cards and create digital debit cards, you don’t need to worry about the volume of cards you need to issue. That’s not the case with physical cards, because with physical cards you need to have card stock ready in order to print cards for customers in a timely fashion.
Card printers will generally require a minimum order to get started on creating your card stock, which refers to a supply of blank cards primed with your design requirements. To determine how much you need to order, consider the following factors:
- Number of current customers
- Expected number of future customers
- Lost or damaged cards that need to be replaced
You can always re-order card stock when it gets low, but it does take time to print it, so keep that in mind when determining when to re-order.
3. Follow a design template
Before you can start printing cards, you need to design them. This process involves a lot of details and requirements from the card printer and card networks. To make things easier, Treasury Prime provides a template to guide you through the process. Following the template prevents you from having to go back and change things to align with requirements.
Here are some different options you’ll have to customize your physical cards:
- Color: You’ll have a choice of CMYK, Pantone, or specialty pigments
- Layout: You’ll decide how and where to place your brand logos, within template parameters
- Cardstock material: You can choose from metal or plastic, including recycled plastic, cards
- Finish: Matte or glossy finishes are available, as well as textured effects
- Functional features: Do you just want a chip and magnetic strip, or do you also want to enable contactless payments?
Designing virtual cards is much simpler, but there are still specific parameters that you’ll need to follow. Often companies will design and test out virtual cards before moving on to physical and digital. For digital card UX design you must work with the integration requirements of different digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay.
4. Avoid the junk mail pile
Design isn’t just reserved for cards — you also need to customize envelopes to encourage customers to open them.
“A standard envelope has no branding and can go unnoticed by a cardholder and be thrown away, and might possibly be mistaken for junk mail,” said Crain.
She recommends using your company’s branding so that customers know what’s in the envelope when it arrives.
“You can leverage these personalized designs to help instill that brand recognition with your customers, and it can also help promote actions. So when they receive that correspondence, they'll open it and move to activate their cards,” she said.
5. Make your debit card easy to activate
Whatever mediums of card you are issuing — virtual, digital, physical, or all three — you need to make it easy for customers to activate the cards. That means including accurate and clear guidelines in your mailers and your app. The mailers can even be customized to include a QR code that links back to your app to enable activation there.
“This is your chance to provide a really great experience to the cardholder and also have another chance to show your brand,” said Crain.
To learn more about launching a card program, watch the full webinar. Think Treasury Prime might be the right BaaS for your company’s needs? Our sales team is always available for your questions. Contact us.