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November 27, 2014updated 04 Apr 2017 12:54pm

Card personalisation and issuance trends in APAC

The executive briefing ‘Into the Future: Card Personalisation & Issuance Trends in Asia Pacific’ that took place in Jakarta, Indonesia focused on the growing importance of instant card issuance and the various facets of enhancing all-round customer experience with secure, card personalisation, writes Meghna Mukerjee

By Meghna Mukerjee

The executive briefing ‘Into the Future: Card Personalisation & Issuance Trends in Asia Pacific’ that took place in Jakarta, Indonesia focused on the growing importance of instant card issuance and the various facets of enhancing all-round customer experience with secure, card personalisation, writes Meghna Mukerjee

In the current payments cards landscape, meeting customer requirements of fast, efficient and personalised services is no more a nice-to-have – it is a must-have for banks.

The executive briefing ‘Into the Future: Cards Personalisation & Issuance Trends in Asia Pacific’ that took place in Jakarta, Indonesia, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, focused on discussing the various facets of enhancing all-round customer experience with secure, card personalisation and the growing importance of instant issuance in the region.

The executive briefing was organised by Cards International and Retail Banker International in association with Zebra Technologies, a global provider of barcode printing and RTLS technology including printers, RFID, software and supplies.

A liability shift to EMV enabled cards is expected to hit much of Asia Pacific in October 2015. The rising cost of fraud is accompanied by a concurrent rise in mobile payments and the planned EMV rollout, with specific security requirements, is a game changer that will potentially shape APAC’s cards space.

The ultimate ability to provide EMV ready, customised cards in an agile fashion, alongside making it completely secure, is a top priority for banks across APAC. However, in practicality, it is no easy feat to achieve.

At the outset of the executive briefing, a brief description of the bank cards landscape in APAC was provided, highlighting the specific trends that are dominant in Indonesia.

The first panel session of the day was about ‘The Midas touch: Getting EMV ready’. The keynote presentation for it was made by Gokhan Inonu, president, Cardtek USA, and he spoke about the time consuming card migration project processes as well as some possible solutions to tackle them.

"To support EMV, you need to deal with the scripting, you need to start issuing the chip cards, you need to support the authorisation, and you need to handle the transactions coming with the EMV related data.

"We have come up with a module called ORIGO where you do not have to change the existing card management systems – you just put the ORIGO module on top of the existing platform. ORIGO enlists the EMV related data into the existing infrastructure. It saves a lot of time."

Inonu added: "With our strategic partner Zebra Technologies, we are introducing our EMV compliant instant issuing solutions in a lot of countries and we have already realised a lot of projects together. All the solutions have global experiences behind them."

Inonu was, thereafter, joined on the panel by Mark Zucherman, senior product manager for Zebra Technologies, as well as Jason Low, SEA regional manager for Zebra Technologies.

An overview of the current EMV landscape in APAC was discussed and comparisons were made with European countries that were early adopters of EMV technology.

"I think there’s a huge set of disparate experiences across Asia. Even the US that is advanced from a banking perspective is lagging behind in the instant issuance and EMV adoption rate," said Zucherman.

From an Indonesia perspective, Low said a lot of the switch to EMV depends on the regulators and banks as fraud and risk are top concerns for both parties.

The barriers and opportunities around the smooth migration to EMV were analysed and global best practices were discussed. The importance of appropriate training around EMV for banks was also stressed upon by the panellists.

Card personalisation – the golden opportunity.

Inonu said: "In Indonesia, every year 5m new customers are created. This is the group most banks are addressing. When someone is walking into the branch, the bank needs a hook to turn them into a customer."

Added Zucherman: "When a bank takes up instant issuance and personalisation, it opens up opportunities around how they plan to offer them. It ultimately enables much better relationships with customers."

The second panel session focused on transforming the financial institution into a smart and connected enterprise for which Zucherman made the keynote address.

He mentioned that this is not the first time banks and financial institutions have made a migration towards new technology but it is the first step of a journey in trying to understand the technology as well as consumer trends that are affecting businesses. "It comes down to who is managing the identity of the customer going forward?" he added.

Once again, Inonu, Zucherman and Low engaged in a panel discussion – starting with a conversation around setting new standards with decentralised card printing and instant issuance, and their related advantages.

"There is a significant cost related to acquiring a customer. If I as a bank can acquire a customer and give him a card on the same day, and he can go out and use it, I am making money on the same day that I acquired the customer. There is a return on investment (ROI) related to it," said Zucherman.

Instant card issuance also negates aspects of postal fraud and geographical difficulties of delivering cards to customers’ home addresses as banks traditionally do, Inonu said.

The discussion also highlighted how instant card issuance is a fitting prospect for Indonesia.

"If a card gets lost in the post, it’s by no fault of the bank but it creates a negative customer experience that reflects badly on the bank," added Low.

Zucherman pointed out that when a bank takes on instant issuance, it’s not only good enough to have all the back-end processes in place. "The question is, are your customers ready for this? Educating customers is about EMV and instant issuance is also vital."

Lastly, the role of cards personalisation and instant issuance in increasing customer engagement as well as loyalty was talked about.

"Together with Zebra, we are providing an end-to-end, secure, instant card issuing service. The personalisation process is completed in less than a minute. Customers can start using the card instantly. It’s a win-win position for the customer as well as the bank to be in," said Inonu.

The panel sessions were followed by an engaging and thought provoking Q&A session.

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