Like us, you may have been watching with interest the developments concerning the new consolidated Target services platform and in particular the calls for an extension to the migration deadline. The big-bang migration is now expected to be moved to 22 November 2022, a year later than scheduled, following requests made to the ECB’s Governing Council by four European banking bodies (EBF, ESBG, EACG and EAPB) to shift the deadline, citing impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and SWIFT’s decision to delay the ISO 20022 migration for cross-border payments as the main reasons. The decision by the ECB is expected at the end of July. Stay tuned.
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TAS is reconfirmed in the 2023 TOP 100 IDC FinTech Rankings
Milan, September, 2023 - We are proud to be among the Top 100 in the IDC FinTech Rankings for the 15th consecutive year, as a global provider of innovative solutions in card management, digital payments, financial messaging and capital markets.
The IDC FinTech Rankings evaluates and categorizes the top IT vendors based on 2022 calendar year revenues and the percentage of revenues exclusively attributed to financial institutions, including banks, capital markets firms, and insurers or directly to fintech solution providers for hardware, software, and/or services.
Demystifying Card Issuing: Understanding the Process and Significance
The card issuing industry continues to evolve and adapt to changing consumer needs, technological advancements, and regulatory developments. Innovations such as digital wallets, virtual cards, and biometric authentication are reshaping the landscape of payment solutions. Card issuers are embracing these developments to enhance security, improve convenience, and deliver seamless user experiences. The future of card issuing holds in fact the promise of even more flexible, secure, and personalized payment options for consumers worldwide.
By understanding the significance and intricacies of card issuing, we would like to give a deeper appreciation for the convenience and opportunities that payment cards provide in our everyday lives. Whether it's debit cards, credit cards, or prepaid cards, these little plastic rectangles enable us to make purchases, access funds, and enjoy a myriad of financial services. Behind the scenes, a complex process known as card issuing takes place and, in this article, we'll demystify card issuing, shed light on its significance, and explore the key steps involved.
What is Card Issuing?
Card issuing refers to the process of creating and distributing payment cards to consumers, allowing them to access financial services and make transactions. The issuing entity, typically a bank or financial institution, produces and provides these cards to customers. Card issuing involves a series of steps, from application and approval to card production, personalization, and delivery. The ultimate goal is to provide users with a secure and convenient payment method that aligns with their financial needs.
The Significance of Card Issuing
Card issuing plays a pivotal role in the modern financial ecosystem, facilitating economic transactions and empowering individuals with greater financial flexibility. There are a few key reasons why card issuing is significant:
Payment Convenience: Cards offer unparalleled convenience, allowing users to make purchases both in-store and online, eliminating the need for carrying cash. With the rise of contactless payment technology, cards have become even more convenient, enabling swift and secure transactions with just a tap or wave.
Financial Inclusion: Card issuing promotes financial inclusion by providing individuals with access to banking and payment services, even if they don't have a traditional bank account. Prepaid cards, for example, can be a viable solution for the unbanked and underbanked populations, enabling them to manage their finances, receive payments, and participate in the digital economy.
Security and Fraud Protection: Card issuers prioritize security, implementing various measures to protect users from fraud and unauthorized transactions. Features such as EMV chips, PIN verification, and tokenization enhance security and reduce the risk of card-related fraud. Additionally, card issuers often offer liability protection to shield customers from unauthorized charges.
Consumer Benefits: Card issuing entities frequently offer a range of benefits and rewards to attract and retain customers. These may include cashback programs, travel rewards, purchase protection, extended warranties, and access to exclusive events. Such perks enhance the overall value proposition of cards and incentivize card usage.
The Card Issuing Process
Now, let's delve into the key steps involved in the card issuing process:
Application and Approval: Individuals apply for a payment card, typically through a bank or financial institution. The issuer evaluates the application based on the applicant's creditworthiness, income, and other relevant factors. Upon approval, the process moves forward.
Card Production: Once approved, the issuer proceeds with card production. Modern payment cards are made of durable plastic and can be embossed or printed with the cardholder's name and other essential details.
Personalization: To enhance security and customization, the card is personalized by encoding a unique magnetic stripe or embedding a chip. This allows the card to be associated with the user's specific account and enables secure authentication during transactions.
Activation: Before the card can be used, it needs to be activated. This can be done through various channels, such as online activation portals, automated phone systems, or by contacting the issuer's customer service.
Distribution: Once activated, the card is delivered to the cardholder. It can be sent by mail to the registered address or made available for pickup at a designated branch. The issuer ensures that appropriate measures are taken to safeguard the card during transit.
Usage and Management: Cardholders can now use their cards to make purchases, access funds, and enjoy the associated benefits. The issuer manages the cardholder's account, tracks transactions, sends periodic statements, and handles any customer service inquiries or issues.
As already anticipated, the card issuing industry continues to evolve and adapt to changing consumer needs, technological advancements, and regulatory developments. Besides the presence of plastic cards there are some notable trends and developments that the card issuing industry is already facing:
Digital Wallet Integration: Card issuers are increasingly integrating their payment cards into digital wallet platforms such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. This allows users to add their cards to these mobile wallets for convenient and secure mobile and contactless payments.
Contactless Payments: The adoption of contactless payments has been on the rise, driven by the need for quick and hygienic transactions. Card issuers are issuing contactless-enabled cards with near field communication (NFC) technology, enabling users to make payments by simply tapping their cards on compatible payment terminals.
Virtual Cards: Virtual cards, which are card details issued without a physical card, have gained popularity. These cards are typically used for online or mobile transactions, providing added security and convenience. Virtual cards can be generated instantly, allowing users to make purchases without waiting for a physical card to arrive.
Open Banking and API Integration: With the emergence of open banking initiatives and application programming interfaces (APIs), card issuers are collaborating with third-party fintech companies to provide innovative financial services and experiences. This allows for seamless integration of card services with various applications, enabling users to manage their finances more effectively.
Rise of Prepaid Cards: Prepaid cards, which are loaded with funds in advance, are gaining popularity due to their flexibility and accessibility. They offer a viable payment solution for the unbanked and underbanked populations, as well as for budgeting and travel purposes.
TAS Card Issuing Platform: build a personalized card program
A modern card issuing platform is one that enables individuals to access financial services, make transactions, and participate in the digital economy. These trends reflect the ongoing efforts of TAS in the card issuing industry to enhance security, convenience, and customization while adapting to changing consumer preferences and the evolving digital landscape.
To meet the evolving needs of its clients, the TAS Card Issuing Platform encompasses a range of features and capabilities that are key factors to build a truly personalized card program.
This modern platform has strong card personalization capabilities allowing issuers to customize their card programs in terms of set up, basic data and personal information associated with cardholders, type of cards, hierarchies, limits, fees, rates etc. Thanks to these high configurability features, each card program is unique and aligned with the issuer's business needs and strategy.
Besides personalization, one of the major concerns of TAS clients is security. For this reason, TAS has continually invested in security measures to protect its clientsagainst fraud and unauthorized transactions. Through sophisticated algorithms, the card issuing platform monitors, investigates and report transactions of a suspicious or unusual nature to ensure reliability 24/7.
Some of the greatest innovations the TAS platform brings to its clients is the ability to issue physical, virtual, and tokenized cards which can be added to the cardholders digital wallets and make mobile and contactless payments using their smartphones or other digital devices. Furthermore, the platform supports additional security measures such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and risk management tools to mitigate risks associated with card-based transactions.
To guarantee an even more flexible, secure, and personalized payments, here are some of the key features the TAS card issuing platform supports:
Open API: to facilitate integration with third-party applications and services to guarantee seamless connectivity and collaboration with other fintech solutions.
Real-time Transaction Monitoring: the platform offers real-time transaction monitoring capabilities, providing issuers with visibility into cardholder transactions, including spending patterns, geolocation, and suspicious activities.
Card Management and Lifecycle Services: this includes functionalities such as card activation, deactivation, blocking, reissuance, and replacement.
Analytics and Insights: this allows issuers to gain valuable insights into cardholder behaviour, spending patterns, and trends. Data-driven insights enable issuers to make informed decisions, optimize card programs, and enhance customer experiences.
Scalability and Flexibility: it supports the growth and expansion of card programs, accommodating varying card types, multiple currencies, and evolving business requirements. The TAS Card Issuing Platform can handle increasing transaction volumes and adapt to changing market dynamics.
These key features empower card issuers to deliver secure, innovative, and personalized payment solutions to their customers. By leveraging the modern TAS card issuing platform, issuers can streamline their operations, enhance cardholder experiences, and stay competitive in the rapidly evolving payment landscape.
To discover more, contact our experts and request a free demo.
Bringing physical and digital together with TAS Remote Teller
TAS Remote Teller allows bank customers to carry out all the operations traditionally carried out in the branch with the teller and get in touch with a remote bank operator to enhance the bank-customer relationship thanks to technology.
An automated counter where you can carry out banking operations and speak remotely with an operator. It is TAS Remote Teller, a solution at the centre of a pilot project within one of the major Italian banking groups. The goal is to offer an automated branch, which allows you to supervise even remote areas, reducing costs significantly compared to a traditional branch. «Without however renouncing the quality of the service, the possibility of cross-selling and generating empathy and trust in the banking customer - says Valentino Bravi, CEO of TAS. By reducing branches to save costs, there is the risk of losing quality, because the branch is increasingly distant from the customer. At the moment this solution is being tested at some pilot branches of one of the major Italian banking groups and the extension of this model to other branches is also planned».
The customer talks to the operator via video
With a view to a hybrid evolution of bank branch models, the Remote Teller adapts to unattended branches: simple sitting rooms are enough to ensure privacy and comfort for the customer, characterized by the bank's brand identity, of course. But it also finds a place in already manned branches, to streamline traditional operations and allocate the offices to other consultancy or value-added activities. «The customer who enters the branch authenticates himself with his payment card at the counter – explains Bravi. In front of him he will therefore find a maxi screen, or even more than one, where he can get in touch with a remotely connected teller, who will follow him in all the traditional operations that are carried out at the bank teller, through simple steps and a video monitoring». The TAS Remote Teller solution offers a very wide range of accessible services, covering more than 95% of the operations that are usually carried out at a bank branch.
More trust, more cross selling
The advantage is therefore to offer the same quality of service provided in presence. But by reaching customers in unmanned areas and also activating cross-selling strategies by leveraging the bank-customer relationship, even if remotely. «The possibility of speaking with an operator generates empathy and allows tellers to better understand the needs of the customers they are following - underlines Bravi. It can therefore happen that you intercept and have to respond to new customer needs: the solution therefore allows you to pass the connection to another operator, specialized for example in mortgages, or investments. A relationship of trust is generated with the operator, as well as with the bank, precisely thanks to the technology, favouring customer retention, as well as the sale of new products".
The launch of the pilot with an Italian bank
TAS also announces that a pilot project has started with one of the four major Italian banks. The goal is to bring the Remote Teller to the branch and extend this new model to various branches in the area. «Within 2 months we integrated our solution – explains Bravi. Naturally it is a customizable tool on the needs of the bank and can also be integrated through the API interfaces».
The future evolution: the shared branch
In the future, this technology could also allow banks to review their real estate strategies: think of a bank branch in a shopping centre or at a hospital. Or, again, within spaces shared with other players, banking and non-banking. «Beyond the regulatory limits, the evolution we are starting to think about is that of the shared branch, like a multi-bank store - concludes Bravi. There are a series of problems to overcome, such as cash management, but it would certainly allow banks to reduce costs, creating shared areas, where an assistant who takes care of receiving customers is sufficient".
Accelerate the digitization of payments
TAS has created a series of end-to-end solutions for digital payments, which allow banks and e-money players to digitize payment management, also launching innovative solutions: from payments through digital wallets, up to PagoPA. «Furthermore, our Global Payment Platform (GPP) integrates with any type of payment and offers a series of advanced services, security for example - declares Bravi - but also advanced analytics solutions and anti-fraud systems» TAS also manages the world of POS services, ATMs and advanced counters. «The latter are ideal tools for people who are familiar with monitors and computers or portable devices – Bravi said. But the basic functions are so simple that, according to our surveys, they are also used by the more mature clientele who are reluctant to use digital devices. In case of difficulty, they can always contact the teller, who will be connected and will supervise the processes at each step, just like at a traditional bank teller".
Author: AziendaBanca by G.C “TAS. Lo sportellista da remoto, per unire fisico e digitale”
English Translation by TAS
New payment experiences – SoftPos
One of the latest TAS solutions aimed at improving the user and merchant shopping experience is SoftPos, a product that is able to transform Android smartphones and tablets into contactless payment terminals, without the need for any hardware support.
SoftPos is an application that merchants can download onto their devices to turn any Android (NFC-enabled) mobile device into a payment acceptance device.
SoftPos is a completely software-based alternative to traditional payment terminals. With SoftPos, merchants can carry out contactless transactions on their mobile devices, facilitating the acquisition of PINs and authentication, without the need for additional hardware and maintaining a very high level of security.
This is a huge advantage, especially for small merchants who can make the most of the solution thanks to the low costs and operational advantages of the technology, especially in sectors where the use of contactless cards has become widespread.
In fact, for micro-businesses SoftPos is a simpler and cheaper way to accept credit or debit card payments, avoiding having to spend on the purchase of extra hardware devices.
In addition, traditional hardware can present greater barriers to adoption because you need to get to know the device while using your smartphone faces less risk of error and have a greater propensity to experiment with new use cases.
Even for large commercial realities, subject to large influxes of customers especially at certain times or periods of the year, the advantages of SoftPos are many: the possibility of offering a payment process without interruptions, the multiplication of payment points without investments in physical workstations, the possibility of acquiring payments on the go, the ease of training both the merchant and the employees on the process, the virtualization of the receipt with automatic sending to the customer's email.
For the cardholder, it will only be necessary to decide which payment method to use between cards and mobile wallets (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay) on their device and wait a few seconds until the transaction is completed. If a PIN is required, the app will display a PIN PAD where you can enter the data.
All this in maximum security: SoftPos is managed by TAS and is certified on the highest security standards for payment applications.
The App is available on the Google Play Store and can be used in white-label mode, allowing the rebranding of the solution or easily integrate it with any App already in use by the merchant.
The next developments include the extension of payments to the Bancomat circuit and, as soon as possible, a similar version for IOS.