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How Much Can Digital Card Issuance Grow in the Near Future? Juniper Research Reveals Predictions

1.3 billion payment cards will be issued via digital platforms every year by 2027 – a sharp incline from the current annual rate of 500 million in 2023; according to the latest study by Juniper Research.

Juniper’s latest research highlights a growing trend that has existed for some time now. Intense competition between issuers from digital-only banks and fintechs offering digital card services has enhanced the trend that seems inevitable. Digital card issuing platforms are replacing physical payment cards.

Digital card issuing platforms are enabling card issuers to create cards using an Application Programming Interface (API)-driven approach. This sees cards instantly delivered – directly to digital wallets. Issuers also give users the option for a physical card. The new issuing method looks to boost flexibility, transparency and speed.

As traditional card issuers look to keep pace with a growing number of competitors in the payments space, the obvious solution appears to be to lean into the digital space that is proving extremely popular amongst consumers.

As physical bank branches continue to close, not only in the UK and Europe but beyond, digital issuance completely eliminates the need for consumers to visit these locations to obtain a card. It also offers another channel for banks and financial institutions to communicate with their customers through digital means (ie. card information, related communications), enhanced personalisation and customisation options, and post-issuance offers.

Innovation is required to stay ahead of the competition 

Juniper Research also released its ‘Competitor Leaderboard‘ for 2023. The leaderboard was created using a robust scoring methodology and ranked the top 16 leading modern card-issuing platforms. The leaderboard accounted for criteria such as the completeness of their solutions and their future business

The top five vendors for 2023 were as follows:

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

These leading players scored well based on their breadth of customisation options, as well as a large number of customers and capabilities, such as personalisation and tracking available.

To stay ahead of the competition, the research suggests that modern card issuing platform vendors must develop solutions that are easy to adopt and deploy, as well as ensure that the features can integrate with existing bank IT systems and bypass them where necessary.

Nick Maynard, co-author of the report, said: “For issuers, staying relevant in an increasingly tech-enabled banking market is challenging. Improving the flexibility, transparency and personalisation of the card issuing process is an important way issuers can increase the user experience. As such, issuers should look to design superior user experiences, leveraging the capabilities that digital card issuing platforms can also provide.”


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