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How to future-proof your card business

Monika Liikamaa

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

Card issuing has become faster and easier for fintechs, but some long-term strategic considerations shouldn’t be overlooked. Card solutions don’t remain static but must be able to adapt to rapid changes. If you make sound choices early on, you can avoid costly mistakes. Our Co-Founder and CEO Monika Liikamaa shares her insights on how you can ensure that your card business remains economically viable and relevant.

By reading this blog you’ll learn:

  • Why the business case is at the heart of future-proofing your card business
  • How partnerships can support you strategically and technologically
  • How to plan for scalability and the emergence of new payment platforms
  • How to meet evolving regulatory requirements and mitigate compliance risk

First things first – Focus on your core competence in your card business

You need to know who your customers are and how you may bring value to them. Think about what kind of products or services you can produce to help them succeed. This is the first thing you must do before moving onto any further decision-making. 

Every company needs a vision and a goal state. When you know where you want your business to go in the future, you can start building the path towards that goal. 

At this point, businesses often worry about the technologies they might need. But that is not the deal-breaker here – all the tech you might need is already out there. Instead, it all boils down to the business case. 

The only thing you need to worry about technology-wise is choosing the right partnerships. 

Find a suitable partner to ensure flexibility and adaptability

Your core business is to think about what kind of added value you can create for your customers. You should not have to worry about the technical implementation. 

With a strategic partnership, you can focus on business development and core competence. Your partner grants you access to the technologies you need and takes care of the rest. 

Work together with modern partners. This ensures that your solution leaves room for flexible configurations without service interruptions. But whenever you choose to partner up, the decision comes with having to prepare for hiccups as well. 

For instance, what happens if you change your provider? You may have to provide completely new physical cards to your customers. This may cause serious interruptions in your service. Even worse, it could entail a costly and time-consuming as-is migration of an existing card base from one processor to the next.

Consult a card issuing service that can guarantee a future-proof solution. Ask yourself, if your card service partner can:  

  • Cover emerging payment forms in a cost-efficient and convenient way 
  • Familiarize you with the key trends and developments that move the industry forward 
  • Help you prepare for the evolving customer preferences 

Read more about payment trends of the future and customer expectations on our blog about The Future of Payments.

Design for scalability – and emerging forms of payment

When your business develops, you want to partner up with someone who has the capabilities to respond to even those needs that you do not yet have. A future-proof card issuing service can start overcoming challenges proactively.

Being nimble challengers, fintech companies want card products that can be built fast. But when they expand and enter new geographies, other variables start factoring in. 

When you scale the solution to new currencies and frameworks, you need to assess its security and reliability. A robust setup allows for seamless integrations with local enablers such as Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), Know-Your-Customer (KYC), and a Payment Service Provider (PSP) across geographies.

Future-oriented card issuers should also take note of emerging forms of digital currency. These include for example cryptocurrencies and loyalty points. These digital payment options will enter the market and use cases will evolve. As a result, customer demand for different digital wallets will also increase.

Adopt a digitally native and flexible issuing processing architecture. Then, your business will not be locked into any single currency. Instead, it can rely on a transaction and rule-based system designed to call any currency units. 

Meet evolving regulatory requirements and mitigate compliance risk in your card business

Regulation is often considered a necessary evil in payments. But it exists to protect people and their money – in some situations even from themselves. Besides, compliance is not a cost but a source of competitive advantage. 

The payments industry is under constant change. A future-proof partner may help you stay on track with all developments. They will proactively respond to possible safety concerns before problems arise. 

Examples of developments in regulatory and compliance requirements include: 

  • Risk-based authentication 
  • New scenarios and guidelines outlined by 3DS 
  • Exemptions to SCA in the case of whitelisting
  • Decoupled authentication 
  • Government-led initiatives aimed at preventing over-indebtedness and expanding open banking opportunities

When new payment innovations emerge, the regulation always lags a little bit behind. This may create new avenues for fraud. During the COVID-19 pandemic, fraudsters have for example turned to social engineering and phishing tactics. They aim to collect personal information that they then use to make transactions using customers’ details.

The bar for fraud management rises constantly in the era of digital commerce. This encourages issuers to deliver reliable card operations with high customer satisfaction. When your infrastructure is built reliably and securely, you can stay calm and focus on your business. 

Technological advances provide security in the fast-growing sphere of digital payments. For example, AI-powered analysis of spending patterns helps identify suspicious transactions fast. Issuers can now alert cardholders in real time. This minimises potential economic losses as well as disruptions in usage. 

Looking for a price for launching a card product?

Use our calculator and get an estimate.

If you have any questions about future-proofing your card business, please do not hesitate to contact us. When you want to succeed with payment cards, we are the right partner to go to. Let’s take your payment business to the next level together!

Want to design the ideal payment card solution for your business? Our comprehensive guide has everything you need to know to launch the winning payment card product. Download down below.

How to launch the winning payment card

Your complete guide to successful card issuing in 2020s: Everything you need to know to issue a future-proof card product, including use cases, ecosystem partners, build vs. buy considerations, and more.

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