Imagine a world in which you can walk into a bank branch and walk out with your very own debit card, complete with all the safety features of a debit card that normally takes days to arrive in the mail. That’s what the innovators at Chase did, and the result is coming to a bank branch near you in 2013.
By the end of the year, Chase customers in select regions will have access to 2,000 branches that are equipped with machines that provide instant-issue debit cards. The focus is initially on New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, with more than 800 branches getting the technology in 2013 as well.
The technology allows bank staff to print a brand-new debit card, complete with all the security features you would get from a card in the mail, in about 90 seconds. Brad Nolan, Head of Design for Branch Innovation at Chase, says the bank chose to work with a company that could create the exact same product in the branches.
In fact, Nolan said the instant-issue technology actually adds another level of efficiency, convenience and safety for customers, since the customer’s PIN doesn’t need to be sent in the mail when a new card is issued.
From a customer’s perspective, here’s how the instant-issue machines work. New customers, as well as current customers who have lost their card or who have a card that’s damaged, can go into a branch and get a staff member to print them a new card with a new PIN. That card is instantly activated, so customers have almost no lag time in accessing their funds. Previously, if you lost your debit card, the bank would need to mail you a new card, which can be a major hassle for customers.
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Currently, the technology is limited to debit cards, but Nolan says the company is hoping to add Chase credit cards and Chase Liquid reloadable prepaid cards.
“We’re already aggressively working on credit cards and are hoping to debut that mid next year,” Nolan says.
Image: Neubie, via Flickr