In 2022, people and businesses continue to use payment cards every day – if not several times a day. Cards, whether physical or virtual, are the essence of digital payments.

However, evolving business models and the emergence of a variety of new business requirements and payment options requires new opportunities and card innovations that businesses cannot find at traditional retail banks.

Luckily, new innovative payment card options have also emerged to meet the demand that can't be met or satisfied by traditional banks or legacy systems.

These innovative payment card solutions are created and enabled by modern card issuing platforms and APIs with the purpose of powering a new era of flexible payment card options.

But where can you find these platforms? And how can organizations use them to build successful card offerings?

In this article, we'll show you how to create a successful payment card product for your business and find a modern card issuing platform for your business needs.

Card Issuing: Banks vs. Modern Fintech

When it comes to card issuance, banks are the go-to. They're the most popular – and for a long time the 'only' – issuers of cards in the world.

But fast forward to today, banks are now seen as these big entities with stringent requirements, lots of legal processes, and in many cases not flexible or scalable enough to support some modern-day business use cases.

Even more so, banks can’t offer the flexibility that innovative companies, like Uber, Talabat, and others, need when it comes to payments today.

As a result, companies like SimpliFi had to come up with ways to help companies scale payments by enabling issuing cards faster and providing more controls.

That's what modern card issuing is all about.

By providing the necessary infrastructure, platforms like SimpliFi, help organizations to build highly configurable payment cards to facilitate and enable innovative payment experiences.

In addition, modern card issuers like SimpliFi, help businesses manage card programs in ways that legacy systems can't – and probably never will.

In other words, if you want to know how to issue a virtual card or physical card without having to go through bank hassles and approvals, then keep reading.

How to launch a winning payment card program

Having a successful payment card program for your business means your employees can enjoy flexible payment solutions that make their jobs easier, faster, and more efficient.

At the same time, you can also offer your customers card options, whether as your main solution or as an addition to your overall service.

With modern card issuance, the ideas and opportunities are endless.

Here are 9 things you need to do to create, design, and launch a successful payment card program in your company.

The tips included here cover launching a card both to support your employees and internal systems and to provide additional benefits to your customers.

  1. Determine your business goals

  2. The first step in making any business decision is to identify your business needs and how you plan to acquire customers. Doing so will help you determine which platform and payment card solution works for you best.

    By identifying your goals, you'll also be able to – at least initially – determine the metrics needed to measure the success of your card issuing program.

  3. Identify your target audience and their behavior

  4. One of the most important steps is identifying who the target audience for your card issuance program is.

    Is it your employees? Your customers? Both?

    If it's the latter, then it's best to divide your card program into two layers or segments. You may even divide your larger segments into sub-segments and note down usage policies and specifications for each. When it comes to customers, create a customer profile with demographics and behaviors such as when they make purchases, where they make them, along with the type of businesses they frequent.

  5. Identify pain points

  6. The next step is designing your payment card solution to identify the pain points in your business and your customers' or employees' pain points.

    Doing so means you'll be able to clearly work on your card solution so that you can clear away bottlenecks and ensure a smooth process later on.

    In this section, make sure you write everything down. From pressing problems all the way to minor issues.

    Is there something that may hinder your growth in the future? Is there something your competitors are doing that you aren't and that's affecting your business?

    Write it all down.

  7. Identify your geographies and audiences

  8. Once you've identified your needs and pain points, it's time to determine which geographical locations your employees or customers can use your cards in.

    You can also set up markets or industries where your cards can be used, spending limits, and other related policies.

    Planning your geographies should also include where your target audience is and where you'd like to expand – as a business and service – in the future.

  9. Specify the services your cards can perform

  10. Now it's time to focus on what your card can do and how and where they help customers. This section can focus on specific industries, include ideas, or simply show how customers benefit from your card program.

  11. Is your card program part of your business model?

  12. You should definitely consider if your card is part of a larger service or service of its own. Is it part of your business model? And if yes, how much does your card program contribute to your revenues?

    This will include both estimates and actual figures that you'll need to review on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.

    If the card is the core of your business model, or an essential part of it – then you shouldn't focus on contributions but instead compare and review how much your card program is in-line with your objectives and overall revenues.

  13. Ensure your policies are working well

  14. It's unlikely you'll get everything right the first time. So, once you launch your card, you'll need a couple of weeks of trial-and-error to help you fine-tune your policies.

    Use the dashboard offered by your modern card issuing provider to track spending and money movements, uncover where customers and employees are falling short or not completing their tasks. Then fine-tune your card program accordingly.

  15. Train employees and customers to use your card

  16. When creating a payment card program, you should always have an onboarding process. Better yet, a quick onboarding video will save you valuable time and will be available for customers and employees to see whenever they want to.

    Based on the initial trial, you can refine your onboarding process for how different people can use your payment card.

    This is one of the most important steps when launching a payment card program. Failing to onboard customers and/or employees can result in many negative experiences and results.

    For employees, failure to correctly onboard them means more time spent by employees, wasted spend, longer processes, lots of frustration, and more.

    For customers, a negative experience can translate into bad reviews and less business.

  17. Find the right partner to team up with

  18. Last but certainly not least, it's time to find the right modern card issuing program provider that will meet your requirements and act as a supportive partner to your business.

Launching your Card Offering

Launching a payment card offering on your own is neither simple nor straight forward. For starters, there are a host of regulatory approvals and industry requirements a business has to go through.

Luckily, there are enablers, like SimpliFi, a payment card enabler that helps companies issue cards easily, while taking care of the regulatory headache and requirements.