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Card Payments Industry Predictions for 2021

Contactless - less contacts

  • Contactless cards from being an object of convenience have transitioned their position into one of the necessities during pandemic times. The surveys hold in April 2020 by MasterCard showed that of 17,000 consumers in 19 countries, 82% of respondents consider contactless payments to be ‘the cleaner way to pay”. CO-VID 19 favored the growth of contactless cards and e-wallets on the change of swipe cards. Having the same infrastructure as traditional cards however the NFC and RFID technologies have enabled them to connect with merchants as opposed to EMV chips and magnetic cards promoting contactless payment processing.  An opportunity provided by RFID technologies to provide touch-free payments without swiping, entering a PIN - code made contactless cards a “must” during the pandemic and they will hold their position this year too. 

Digital Cards

  • The requirements for credit cards have also changed demanding more user-friendly, mobile, and flexible operability.

    Cards being the primary focus of digital transformation offer the following features:

    Transition to virtual - the digital transformation proved that the growing reference to virtual and digital cards is inevitable since of the security, convenience, and agility they offer to customers. Virtual and digital cards provide all features to satisfy the convenience demand of customers.

    The use of plastic cards is going to be out-of-date with the emergence of mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay with the use of virtual cards since all data such as card numbers, expiration dates, verification digits, and credentials are stored on a smartphone

    Instant card issuing enables the process of issuing in a blink of an eye taking a few seconds in comparison to credit cards where the process lasts up to a few days.

    Most digital banking apps enable customers to check the account balance, view transaction history, receive important alerts, and access the card’s rewards or benefits making the account management more user-friendly and accessible. 

    The most beneficial feature of digital cards is that customers get more flexible tools to access card details such as card number, expiration date, verification digits that a virtual card contains.

Prepaid Card Programs

  • The worldwide growth of prepaid products is a predictable and logical process that is driven by improved technologies. The 2021 prepaid cards industry now includes a variety of product offerings and very effective funds disbursement vehicles.  Prepaid Cards and Prepaid Card programs consequently are a big step towards a cashless society, giving cardholders convenient, flexible, and secure access to funds along with the means to control spending through the use of the internet and mobile technology.

    First of all, Prepaid card programs present an ideal alternative to banks offering to unbanked consumers access to essential payment services. Prepaid card programs provide regulatory and network oversight while delivering access to major payment networks and streamlining transactions for all the parties in the prepaid program chain. Businesses can control, reload and manage the payment issues of their customers and staff providing them with convenient cards with loyalty and reward bonuses, and driving profits. In the times when agility and mobility are the main values, the prepaid card options can improve customer loyalty and increase brand exposure, and easily manage your card program. One of the main features of prepaid cards is loyalty and reward programs. Bonuses, rewards, and discounts can be considered quite an incentive to attract more customers, or to get services with significant discounts and save money through earned bonuses. Thus, Prepaid Card Programs has solidly taken their position in the card payment industry as an effective, flexible and optimizing tool to manage card payments. 

Bonuses and rewards in enhancing customer experience

  • The 2021 year is going to be rich in credit card bonuses and reward programs. The main difference with the previous years is that customers’ focus will be bonuses, cash-back, and rewards. As a result of lockdown financially limited customers would show a preference to the most advantageous card deal than the associated card brand name. For example, in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, most reward programs and cards offering points and bonuses were obliged to change the destination of the bonuses in order to prevent en masse clients’ refusal from cards. For example, traveling cards were out of use for almost entirely 2020 as a result of lockdown, and taking into account the fact that travel rewards cards typically offer larger bonuses for reaching higher spending limits card issuers were obliged to search for ways to compensate the loop. Thus, customers were offered different ways to redeem points and rewards, such as groceries and daily routine payouts. However, it is predicted that following favorable vaccination news and with COVID - 19 slowing down the travel cards will again return to their original function and together with additional bonuses will deliver flexible and convenient services to traveling customers. 

    More and more, starter cards are rolling out cash-back reward programs rivaling those offered by more traditional cards, offering an easy way to earn extra rewards during the first few months after opening an account. 

    As we can see the card industry is changing rapidly with the pace of time.  A seamless, secure online and mobile experience, easy reward offerings, and tailored made card programs will enhance customer experience by offering up-to-date cards and services.


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