6 Ways to Win Top-of-Wallet Status With a Digital-First Card Strategy

As digital-first quickly becomes the standard, it is essential that digital journeys include all the aspects customers have come to expect. Here are the key elements to a digital strategy that wins with cardholders and increases revenue.

It’s no surprise that a digitally issued card shortens the time frame between when a customer receives a new card and when they begin using it for spend. It may be a surprise, however, that digital issuance is just one step on the digital-first journey and that without a full digital strategy, that newly issued card might not bring with it the added spend issuers are expecting.

Yes, customers want digital-first cards, but they are also in search of digital-first when it comes to all of their other banking activities. From the first engagement someone has with a new financial institution, each traditional activity should have a digital counterpart.

1. Create Applications That Win

The beginning of a banking relationship often begins when an individual applies for an account. Creating an application process that is seamless and reduces barriers is the best way to start the cardholder’s digital experience. When an application takes more than five minutes to complete, abandonment rates increase to as high as 60%.

The Next Step:

To reduce abandonment and improve customer experience, applications can be limited to necessary data. For existing account holders, make the journey even easier by prefilling known data for them.

Reducing barriers in the application process includes allowing biometrics to confirm applicant identity and providing multiple channels the applicant can choose from, whether from an app, browser, etc. Add to the convenience by allowing applicants to switch between devices to complete an application without losing their place in the application flow, especially in situations where any documentation or uploads are being requested by the financial institution.

2. Provide Immediate Access

Once you’ve approved a new account, increase usage rates by providing immediate access to a new card. In a world where our groceries are delivered within the hour and the world’s library of movies and music is available to stream in seconds, time really is of the essence with today’s consumer.

Instantaneous response isn’t just what people have come to expect, it’s also more likely to capture spend when a card is made immediately available. 70% of digitally issued cards are used within five days, compared to a physical card that won’t even be delivered for seven to ten business days.

3. Make Usage a Breeze

Manually entering my card details and verifying my identity is so fun’ is a statement that has never been uttered. Once a card has been digitally issued, make using the card simple by enabling push-to-wallet. There are many benefits to giving cardholders this ability and it is among the most essential parts of a successful digital-first strategy.

In addition to the seamless experience for the cardholder, push-to-wallet provides more opportunity for you to capture top-of-wallet for both the physical and digital wallet, as well as bypassing the marketing of competing cards.

Top-of-wallet opportunity
When a card is pushed directly into a Google or Apple Wallet from your app, it provides immediate access and the ability to spend in-person, online, and in-app. With over 85% of U.S. retailers accepting Apple Pay, a digitally issued card that is pushed to wallet is available for use nearly everywhere.

In addition to the availability of the card, the ease-of-use enables people to go about their regular spending and utilize your card without missing a beat. Since the card was enabled in the wallet in just seconds, there’s no need for them to wait for a physical card before shopping – allowing issuers to begin capturing that spend immediately.

Bypassing the competition
While push-to-wallet is the more convenient way to add a card for a customer, it’s also the simplest way for an issuer to avoid competition. Many digital wallets (Apple and Google among them), offer their own accounts. A customer who chooses to manually add a card to Apple Wallet will be greeted by an offer to apply for Apple Card.

A person who manually adds to Google Wallet will be offered a spot on the Google Plex waiting list. When a card is directly provisioned to a digital wallet, the cardholder bypasses the manual entry point at which they would be offered another product.

4. Sweeten the Deal With Offers and Rewards

A list of retail discounts, benefits pamphlets, and APR offer checks are among the many mailings we receive from financial institutions. While all of these offers are nice, they’re more accessible and beneficial to digitally savvy cardholders when they are offered, visible, and available in-app.

Not only is this a preferred way for customers to access offers, but a digital-first model allows financial institutions to make personalized offers in the moment – special financing opportunities and location-based discounts – enhancing the cardholder experience and capturing even more spend.

5. Give Insight Into All the Places a Card Is Stored

For existing cardholders, the instant issuance of a replacement card is valuable, but can be made even more so by providing them with the details of all the places the old card was being stored.

Providing a list of existing retailers where their card is on file or is being used for recurring purchases allows cardholders to make sure the card is updated everywhere it needs to be – providing a smoother journey with uninterrupted spend.

6. Put Control In the Palm of Their Hands

While card controls and alerts are a standard today, they are also an essential part of a digital journey. Allowing individuals to set limits on transaction types, locations, and amounts – as well as alerts – reduces fraud, minimizes inbound call center activity, and gives cardholders the security of managing their cards 24 hours a day.

Controls can include the ability to turn cards on and off, set spending limits, create location boundaries, and report a card missing. Alerts allow cardholders to create notifications for a variety of scenarios, to keep a close eye on the transactions charged to their account.

The Importance of a Fully Digital Journey

While all of these features are beneficial on their own, it is when they come together as part of a full digital strategy that they provide the most value to both the cardholder and the financial institution. Digital issuance is a key part of going digital-first, but it is the combination of this suite of digital-first tools that provide the best cardholder experience.

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