One of the most apparent consumer trends today is the shift in expectations around immediacy. As content such as movies, music, and games have become digitized, on-demand access has become the norm. These expectations have permeated other aspects of our lives: Online retail is shortening delivery windows for physical goods from days to hours, and in the payments industry the transfer and settlement of funds is being pushed toward a new, real-time paradigm.

This culture of raised expectations sets the stage for the instant issuance of payment cards. As this paper demonstrates, shifting payment card distribution from central issuance by mail to instant issuance in a branch has both financial and, perhaps more important, reputational benefits for financial institutions. Instant issuance meets consumer demands for immediacy, and wins favor for the issuing FI.

This study, sponsored by Entrust Datacard, explores the market for instant issuance of debit cards in-branch from the perspective of issuers and consumers. Revenue opportunities, and customer experience and satisfaction associated with instant issuance were investigated. This study and whitepaper were independently produced by JAVELIN.

JAVELIN maintains complete independence in its data collection, findings, and analysis.


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The consumer data in this report is based on information collected from a Javelin survey that targeted populations representative of the overall U.S. population in proportions of gender, age, and income in June 2015:

  • 150 cardholders who had received an instant issuance debit card within the past 24 months.
  • 150 cardholders who had received a central issuance debit card within the past 24 months.

Further research was conducted through in-depth phone interviews with financial institutions, card networks, and financial technology vendors.