Deloitte: Modern card issuing is here to stay



When Marqeta coined the term “modern card issuing” it was a new concept to most in the financial and retail world. But now, Deloitte and others are recognizing that this revolution may be here to stay.

Modern card issuing presents an opportunity for card program providers to reimagine their roles in consumers’ lives. “Seizing the opportunity,” from Deloitte’s global payments team, details findings from the Deloitte 2021 Consumer Payments Survey, conducted in partnership with Marqeta. The survey found strong consumer demand for the key functionalities that modern card issuing makes possible. 

The survey of nearly 2,000 banked or underbanked U.S. consumers found that customer-centric functionalities, including instant  and virtual card issuance, easy card integration, personalized rewards, and help with budgeting, generate a lot of enthusiasm.

Top three functionalities

When asked to identify the top three functionalities that elevate their satisfaction with the payment experience, 44% selected instant issuance of a digital card in a mobile wallet or an app. Beyond simple convenience, instant card issuance enhances the overall impression of the issuer and its security, and boosts the likelihood of a positive recommendation.

Over half (51%) of respondents identified easy card integration on third party apps and wallets among their top functionalities. Modern card issuing expedites the process of pushing a card directly to a wallet or app – often with the push of a single button. It provides immediate access and ability to spend funds, whether digitally or in person, while protecting data security.

Personalized rewards also earned a spot among the top three, with 44% of survey respondents saying they value the freedom to choose rewards that best fit their lifestyle. Whether it’s cashback offers, statement credits, gift cards, or cryptocurrency, personalization gets a big thumbs up compared to fixed rewards programs. The technology underpinning modern card issuing can enable card program providers to automate the process of identifying preferred spending categories and dynamically adjust rewards as appropriate.

Beyond these three wants, the Deloitte team also identified help with budgeting as a major enticement. More than 20% of survey respondents said they prefer to have more control over their finances. Modern card issuing can help by providing the ability to dynamically set limits and alerts on transaction types, geolocations, and amounts, as well as enabling card program providers to push relevant insights on money management. 

Beyond the “payment card”

These findings suggest that even the term, “payment card,” may be outdated. Modern cards go far beyond mere financing tools, opening doors for better money management and unlocking broader financial relationships. 

Where to start? Begin by strategically assessing modern card issuing functionalities that your customers value most and honestly assess your institution’s ability to deploy them. Then, collaborate with the right partners to bring those customer-centric functionalities to market, both with agility and at scale. Here are some ways Deloitte’s global payments team suggests seizing the opportunity to elevate your role in the financial lives of your customers: 

  • Reimagine your operating model to singularly focus on what’s best for the customer. This may require identifying and breaking product silos, re-organizing data collection and integration, and deploying organizational structure, leadership, talent, and processes as a single holistic customer-centric engine. 
  • Consider creative marketing campaigns to educate consumers about functionalities enabled by modern card issuing, and how they can make it easier to manage money. Leverage social and interactive approaches to connect with younger consumers.
  • Recognize the limits of existing technology stacks for designing customer-centric experiences. Efforts to overhaul technology architecture and develop modern issuing capabilities are likely to be time consuming and costly. 
  • Consider partnering with a modern card issuer that offers open APIs-based technology and shares your overall goals. These modern issuers can make it simpler, faster, and more efficient to connect new capabilities to legacy systems. 
  • Assess the resilience of any potential partner’s technology stacks and their ability to rapidly develop and rollout new functionalities at scale. Having digital card issuance capabilities is just a starting place. 


As described in the Deloitte white paper, “The core value of modern card issuing is to build payment experiences that are simpler and more convenient.” Accomplish that and customers may just about break down your door seeking to expand their relationship with your institution. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents say they are likely to expand their financial relationship with the institution that elevates their overall experience by offering their preferred payments functionalities.

For some, a wait-and-see approach may seem prudent, but being cautious presents its own risks. The risk of falling out of alignment with customer expectations. The risk of being left behind. The future belongs to those who are strategically shrewd, embrace technology, and can execute.

Get all the findings from the Deloitte whitepaper, or talk with one of our experts about how modern card issuing can give you new capabilities so you can remain competitive in today’s market.