Going Green: How we receive our credit cards is becoming eco-friendlier

Last updated: 15 July 2020

The banking industry is undergoing a significant amount of change with regards to the way we design and receive our credit cards. In the past few years, we have already seen many banks ‘go paperless’ with digital bank statements and many more of their customers are banking online.

This drive to go green in the sector is important as it shows the industry recognises its substantial impact on the environment. Indeed, every year the banking card industry creates 900 million kg CO2. That is equal to the carbon footprint of 500,000 passengers flying from Sydney to New York.

And while there are plenty of new innovations in the works with regards to environmental-friendly materials to replace plastic for EMV payment cards, there are also many simple processes banks can introduce thanks to technology.

Here we look at some lesser known ways we are helping banks create an eco-friendlier offering, while also speeding up the transaction process. Using these tools will enable banking clients to build a consistent green strategy that moves beyond empty environmental claims.

Card Mailers

Most people will likely have had to replace their credit cards, either because they were misplaced, stolen or because they expired. And although this makes sense from a security perspective, the result is that the banking industry ships more than three billion EMV cards every year.

These cards come in the post often with a leaflet. While this may provide important information to customers, these paper mailers equate to the cutting down of tens of thousands of trees and the release of tons of CO2 in the atmosphere.

In the past there has been no way around this problem – bank cards take time to order and print in one of the bank’s facilities. A solution to this is the ability to issue and activate a credit card instantly. This eliminates the need for a card mailer, as well as postage, shipping and environmental costs associated with this antiquated process. What’s more, on a personal level, if you have lost your card, being able to replace it as quickly as possible is also hugely reassuring. It’s also a great way for financial institutions to get customers up and running with their bank card immediately.

PIN Mailers

In a similar vein to card mailers, for cardholders issued a new EMV card via post, another mailer is also often sent as a secondary step – the new PIN code. Again, the ramifications on the environment are extensive and contribute to the sector’s overall carbon footprint. However, financial institutions can address this key customer pain point by reducing the time and environmental impact involved in PIN delivery.

Instead of using paper, a Digital PIN can be provided, creating an end-to-end Software as a Service (SaaS) solution that allows financial institutions to control card PIN code management via well-known digital channels, instantly. For customers, this solution is a fast and seamless way to activate and use their payment card as soon as they receive it.

This also increases customer satisfaction, while saving on significant postage and customer care costs as well as showing a commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Of course, a bank with a wide range of digital services must also make security a priority. As a world leader in Digital Security, we ensure that all our services are certified and compliant with industry standards. We also include end-to-end data encryption during the entire card issuance process.

We support banks in taking action toward environmental-friendly practices and have the expertise and full set of tools to enable banking clients build a consistent green strategy with a strong user experience. These processes not only offer business and consumers with numerous benefits, but also meet the need to help transform the payment card industry in a sustainable way.

Consumers are rightly expecting their issuing banks to embrace these new experiences that clearly improve the impact for our planet, and we can help make the journey. Learn more here.

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