Deploying a Modern Card Program – Mobile Banking App

Last updated: 10 August 2022

In our Digital First blog series we have extolled the virtues of a Modern Card Program, and why they’re such an important part of any digital first banking offering. As well as the challenges of building such a program. In the final part of our series – we’re focusing on perhaps the challenge that this all hinges on… the mobile banking app! 

Challenge #3: The complexity of delivering a modern mobile banking app 

When a banking app is designed well, it’s simple. Simple to navigate and use; whether that’s to order a card, manage it or use it to pay at-stores and online. 

We are all familiar with the “Physical first, digital later” model for payment cards – when ordering an EMV payment card would take days to arrive via a paper application or a trip to the bank branch. Only when in possession of such physical cards, could cardholders on-board those details into their digital wallet, such as Apple Pay, to pay at-stores using NFC tap-to-pay, or in-app merchants applications accepting such payments. 

Digital first, physical later

The future is the other way around, Digital first, physical later. Cardholders receive a new virtual card in their mobile app in a matter of seconds, which can then be pushed into digital wallets.  Cardholders can also order the physical version of their virtual card. The banking app can also let the user: set new card parameters; spending limits per card; temporarily suspend the card for online purchases; foreign expenses etc. Everything is under the control of the user, right from the screen of his/her smartphone. 

However, for developers the modern bank app is a tremendous challenge far beyond a modern mobile front-end. Where does the complexity reside? Among many words to answer, one comes out strongly: orchestration.  

Banking mobile apps are the tip of the iceberg for developers launching a modern card issuance platform.  Below sea level are huge and complex infrastructure systems that need to be orchestrated to support real time services delivered via the mobile app.  We call this IT infrastructure the card issuing stack, integrating multiple front-end and back-end systems that control the cardholder’s cards life cycle, accounts and transactions, claims and settlements. 

However, it’s not just as simple as developing a normal mobile app. A card creation request requires multiple core banking infrastructure systems that have not been designed for real time. All data exchanges are sensitive and must be secure under PCI DSS rules. To do so, a massive amount of data must be orchestrated to ultimately deliver the experience the customer wants.   

Thales D1 picks the challenges and solves them for developers 

To deliver a Modern Card Program, a modern card issuing platform need to be deployed, integrating core banking legacy systems (account management, transactions management, claims and settlement among multiple component) with modern, new and cloud-based component to deliver real-time issuance, a modern mobile and web UX and PCI DSS compliance. 

Developers could choose a hard route using a handful of partners with thousands of system level APIs, managing all the orchestration of the card issuing stack internally, as well as all regulations rules.  With Thales D1, we offer to manage all orchestration and compliance challenges via unified SDK, with simple APIs that are use-case ready in a template design approach.  The net result is time and pain savings, and significant cost reductions. 

No card issuer should focus on re-inventing what Thales D1 will bring them “out-of-the box”.  Instead, issuers should focus on launching new services to their cardholders. Thales takes care behind the scene to build those services and operate them flawlessly. All in record times and cost effectively 

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