The way we pay is changing even as you read this.
The card platforms that were built on proprietary, monolithic infrastructure are now using open-source technologies and payments-as-a-service to provide a personalized experience to card users. Platforms have become more flexible and modular. Advanced technologies such as blockchain and AI bring much-needed innovation and security to card and payment systems. It has eliminated the complexities in the system and made it more transparent. Cross-border payments have become more secure and easy.
However, keeping pace with these innovations in card systems, customers have started using different digital methods and channels to make payments. Research shows that 55% of Gen Z users don’t even own a credit card. So, what’s changed?
Let’s explore the changes that have taken place in the payments industry driven by the changes in the way customers interface with their card systems. Let’s look at the changing frontend interface and find out how card issuers can keep pace with the new world.
Changes In The Card’s Frontend Interface
- Mobile wallets
Mobile payments have become an exceedingly popular customer-card interface due to the sheer convenience on offer. 15% of mobile wallet users admit that they leave their residence without carrying cash. The customer must use a credit card or debit card to add money to their mobile wallet. They can save the card details for future transactions. The best part is that they can add top-up amounts to their mobile wallet using multiple cards. They don’t have to switch between different cards as the default option when reaching the credit limit. A unique QR code is generated automatically to allow payments.
It’s time that credit card issuers recognize the potential of mobile wallets and allow the seamless connection of cards and accounts with their own wallet and other wallets too. The credit card issuer can use tokenization to reduce fraud and ensure that the account is not compromised.
- Contactless payments
Among the various transformations that occurred during the pandemic, contactless payment was among the most visible change of interface. One in five customers used contactless payment for the first time during the pandemic. 57% of customers said they would continue to use it even after the pandemic. Contactless payments leverage short-range wireless technology to aid secure communication between contactless cards and contactless checkout terminals. So, when a customer checks out at the contactless checkout terminal, all they have to do is tap the contactless card or the payment-enabled device to complete the payment. Even biometrics can be used. Amazon Go, for example, piloted a contactless identity service that’s linked to a customer’s identity. Their palm print doubled up as their biometric signature. Customers had to just place their palms over the Amazon One device to pay. Contactless payments are secure and make the entire checkout process hassle-free. Each transaction provides a one-time code that secures the payment information. Credit card issuers today have little choice but to factor contactless credit cards into their strategic plans.
- Wearable payment devices
Look around you. Chances are you will see a plethora of smartwatches on the wrists of consumers. The wearable payment device market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.6% between 2021 to 2026. The payment device uses near field communication (NFC) technology to link the device to a customer’s debit or credit card. It gets activated only when the payment terminal detects the wearable device. It eliminates the need for cards or cash and completes the transaction within 10 to 15 seconds. Given the growth and customer acceptance, card issuers must ensure that customers can easily link their wearable devices with credit and debit cards. This will allow the customers to make seamless and hassle-free payments.
- Prepaid cards
Card issuers are looking to issue prepaid cards to customers who don’t have access to credit or debit cards. These cards are like gift cards. They are already loaded with a certain amount. The customer can use it for shopping and other transactions till the pre-loaded amount is utilized. This helps the customer maintain a good credit score and avoid unnecessary debts. The card issuers can make the prepaid cards reloadable or non-reloadable and offer loyalty incentives to deepen engagement. Card issuers can also issue multi-currency cards to allow cross-border payments. Stored-value cards have largely been a niche. Now they look like they could become mainstream.
Blockchain has made digital payments more secure and cost-effective. Considering that it is based on encrypted, decentralized ledgers, card issuers can verify the transactions in real-time and safeguard merchants from problems such as chargeback frauds. Even if an issue emerges, blockchain can help resolve them in just ten days. By using blockchain technology, card issuers can also bring transparency to the fees structure, making cross-border payments easy. There are regulatory issues and volatility concerns that need to be addressed. Once resolved, it could soon become the alternative digital payment method to avoid the high processing fees. Card issuers must recognize its value and build an infrastructure to support these transactions in the future.
Change is the only constant, and as it’s evident, the cards and payment industry is in the middle of massive transformation. Card issuers use AI, Blockchain, and other technologies to build a robust digital payments ecosystem. At Core Card, we work as a technology partner to provide end-to-end platforms that help processors, banks, and merchants across the payment industry create and manage different card programs effectively. We are committed to revolutionizing the payment industry and making it more customer-centric and transparent.
To know more about our offerings, contact us.