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By 2027, Juniper Research expects 1.3 billion digitally issued payment cards, treble the current rate.

According to the most recent Juniper Research report, 1.3 billion payment cards will be issued annually via digital platforms by 2027, a huge increase from the current annual rate of 500 million in 2023.

The most recent analysis from Juniper reveals a developing tendency that has been around for a while. The shift that seems to be inevitable has been accelerated by fierce competition between issuers from digital-only banks and fintechs providing digital card services. Physical payment cards are being replaced by digital platforms for card issuance.

Card issuers are now able to create cards utilizing an API-driven methodology thanks to digital card issuing platforms. Cards are now delivered promptly and directly to digital wallets. Users can also choose a physical card from issuers. The new issuing procedure aims to increase adaptability, openness, and speed.

As traditional card issuers compete with more payments companies, leaning into the digital realm, which consumers love, seems natural.

Digital issuance totally eliminates the requirement for customers to visit physical bank branches in order to receive a card as these facilities continue to close, not only in the UK and Europe but also elsewhere. Also, it provides banks and other financial institutions with an additional digital channel for communicating with their clients (e.g., card information, associated messages, expanded personalization and customization possibilities, and post-issuance offers).

To stay one step ahead of the competition, innovation is necessary

Moreover, Juniper Research unveiled its 2023 “Competitor Leaderboard.” The top 16 modern card-issuing platforms were ranked on the leaderboard, which was produced using a reliable scoring mechanism. The ranking took into account factors including the completeness of their solutions and their potential for future business.

The following were the top five vendors for 2023:

  1. Thales
  2. G+D
  3. FIS
  4. Fiserv
  5. Marqeta

These top players have many clients, various customization options, and advanced capabilities like personalization and tracking.

According to the report, current card issuing platform makers must offer solutions that are easy to purchase and install and can interact with existing bank IT systems and bypass them when necessary to stay ahead of the competition.

“For issuers, staying relevant in an increasingly tech-enabled banking environment is tough,” said Nick Maynard, co-author of the paper. Issuers may significantly improve the customer experience by enhancing the process of issuing cards in ways that are more flexible, transparent, and personalized. In order to create better user experiences, issuers should take advantage of the features offered by digital card issuing platforms.

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