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Instant Issuance (Financial Cards)

In today’s highly competitive financial services world, the importance of establishing and maintaining strong customer relationships cannot be underestimated.

Consumers’ expectations of service quality are continually increasing; the instant provision of a payment card following successful registration, or the instant replacement of a lost or stolen card can be important tools in ensuring card activation and cardholder retention.

Visa card personalization has traditionally been performed in highly secure, special purpose bureaux. Technology is now available to instantly create fully personalized Visa cards in bank branches, at retailer locations or on the road to support special promotions or sporting events. Instant issuance can be used to deliver any type of Visa card; credit, debit, prepaid, V PAY, chip and PIN and Visa payWave.

Once a new customer’s details have been captured and approved, the process of personalising the card typically takes less than a minute; this includes embossing account and cardholder details on the front of the card, printing CVV2 on the back, and electronically encoding the magnetic stripe and chip. It is also possible to graphically print individual card designs if required.

As an optional feature, a secure PIN pad can be used to allow the new cardholder to choose his or her PIN. Alternatively, Integrated Voice Response (IVR) systems or traditional PIN delivery methods can be used.


Feedback from in-branch Visa debit and credit issuers, and evidence from instantly issued retail private label programs demonstrates that instant delivery of card to cardholder results in earlier activation and higher activation rates than for cards delivered through mail. Instant issuance can be used as a service differentiator and customer acquisition tool; providing new customers with a card for immediate use, and existing customers with an instant replacement of a lost or stolen card.

Range of different solutions

Branch based systems for instant issuance of Visa debit and credit are in place today in many countries around the world. Visa is working with its member banks and key partners to develop saleable pragmatic solutions to enable issuance of all types of Visa cards in both branch and non-branch environments. In August 2008 Findomestic launched the first retailer operated Visa instant issuance pilot in Europe at the La Rinascente department store in Catania, Italy.

Visa’s implementation requirements for instant issuance describe physical and logical system design and operations to ensure that all equipment, customer data, card stock, consumables, cryptographic keys and PINs are adequately controlled and protected. Many requirements are common to all environments, for example, all systems must enforce dual control and segregation of duties to ensure that no single person has the ability to enter a customer’s personal information, create a card and choose or obtain the PIN.

Non-branch systems located in environments such as department stores or hypermarkets require additional physical and logical controls.

Visa instant issuance demonstration

Visa’s instant issuance demonstration system shows how multiple new technologies can work together to instantly deliver unique and personal cards for your customers:

• Card image selection and manipulation software allows cardholders to create individual designs for their card.

• Desktop personalisation equipment can fully personalize a card while the customer waits. This  includes image printing, embossing the front of the card, indent printing CVV2 on the rear of the card, encoding the magnetic stripe and securely writing data to the chip.

• Visa payWave cards can be instantly issued if required.

• Innovative transparent card bodies broaden the range of card design possibilities, and provide a window into the card’s chip and contactless technology.

Categories: General
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