Rob Dixon

Updating for the need for speed

Explore 6 reasons to choose a SaaS instant issuance model.

September 13, 2021

Business operations and consumer interactions with their finances have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic. Credit unions are revisiting the branch experience and considering updated technology and conversions to contactless to provide a touch-free payment experience. Instant card issuance can enable issuers to provide new or replacement payment cards to members in branch, with EMV® or dual interface contactless capability, quickly and conveniently. 

To get started, identify the type of hosting model from which to build your instant issuance card program. For many years, financial institutions had only one choice: Software-for-Purchase (SFP). There are six compelling reasons why a secure cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model is a solid choice:

  1. There is no software to purchase. The cloud-service provider hosts the software on its servers, which the issuer easily and securely accesses over the web. The credit union does not need to purchase hardware security module (HSM) servers or instant issuance software. This approach requires a much smaller initial investment in equipment and resources.
  2. The provider handles program setup. One of the most resource-intensive requirements is the rigorous EMV certification process. In the SFP model, all certification steps must be performed before you can print your first card and must be repeated for each server. Under the SaaS model, the provider can assist in the certification process for EMV and dual interface contactless and performs all key management tasks, coordination, and troubleshooting with the payment brand if necessary.
  3. There is minimal ongoing maintenance. With the SaaS model, the provider fully manages the system, relieving your institution’s information technology (IT) staff of responsibility for maintaining server internet protocol (IP) addresses, networking, firewall settings, communication protocols, and software updates.
  4. SaaS can be implemented quickly. With SaaS, the provider owns and maintains both the server hardware and software. Once the credit union specifications are coded on the provider’s servers, printers can be installed and brought online almost immediately.
  5. SaaS is cost-effective. SaaS requires minimal upfront capital investment, allowing the institution to recoup its initial costs faster and begin benefiting from potential incremental revenue opportunities of instant issuance.
  6. Economies of scale are created. With the arrival of SaaS, smaller credit unions can benefit from the same economies of scale afforded to big banks. SaaS allows a single provider to offer the same level of service to multiple clients through the cloud, reducing any individual issuer’s onboarding costs. SaaS instant issuance efficiently scales to institutions of any size.

The benefits of instant issuance are clear and can provide credit unions with advantages over the competition. With the flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and fast implementation of the SaaS cloud-based model, credit unions can serve members with speed and convenience. 

Learn more about SaaS instant issuance.

ROB DIXON is director of product and business development at CPI Card Group.

EMV® is a registered trademark in the U.S. and other countries and an unregistered trademark elsewhere. The EMV trademark is owned by EMVCo, LLC.