By Gunnar  | 16 Dec 2022

There are a significant number of payment cards in circulation globally, with an estimated 25 billion issued worldwide. That's a lot of plastic! The average American has two to three credit cards, additional debit cards, reloadable prepaid cards in the kitchen drawer, gift cards, and perhaps company expense cards laying around. In the US alone, 80–100 million new cards are issued yearly. With so many issued cards, we must address the limitations of plastic cards and how the digital interface for managing these cards is often missing or underperforming.

Some might ask, is card issuing slowing down due to other alternatives? There is no indication of that, and in fact, driven by new & technically advanced card issuing APIs; we foresee an increase of 15–20% YoY as plastic/virtual cards keep replacing the use of physical cash 💸. Even crypto businesses issue cards for crypto-to-fiat transactions at point-of-sale.

We need a cheaper, more convenient, more secure, and environmentally friendly way to issue cards. That’s why SaaS card application platforms are, well…. kind of a big deal!

Cards will keep evolving

Payment cards have undergone a series of transformations since they were first introduced. In 1959, American Express introduced the first card made of plastic, which has become the standard for storing and spending money. With the strong infrastructure of card networks and the benefits of being widely accepted by merchants, payment cards have remained a popular way to make payments. However, there have been several notable changes over the years, such as the transition from magnetic stripes to chip and PIN technology and the adoption of contactless payments using NFC technology. As technology continues to advance, the physical importance of payment cards is decreasing, and they are increasingly being replaced by virtual cards that are stored in the cloud and accessed and managed through mobile devices. It is likely that physical payment cards will eventually disappear completely, as more and more people turn to virtual payment options.

The problem with physical payment cards

In the covid-epidemic 2020–2022, the weakness of cards became evident. Due to the risk of infections, governments encouraged citizens to reduce the use of physical cards and rather use contactless options, such as Google/Apple Pay. Another problem with plastic payment cards is their environmental impact. Because these cards are made from non-biodegradable materials, they can take hundreds of years to break down in landfills. This can contribute to pollution and waste and can have negative effects on the environment. And finally, distributing physical cards is a slow and costly process that can be completely eliminated with virtual cards. Today, it’s best practice to onboard clients with a completely digital process, eliminating the need to go to a physical branch; but physical cards still need to be sent via mail, which is a slow and costly process and comes with a potential for fraud and identity theft. Because these cards contain sensitive financial information, they can be targeted by thieves who may try to steal this information and use it for their own gain. This can lead to financial loss for the cardholder and can be difficult to resolve.

New digital banking applications reduce the dependency on plastic cards, by allowing you to manage your card digitally and in some cases no plastic is issued and the card is fully virtual. But building and operating a banking application for cards is a costly and time consuming process to set up and require a team of professionals to operate. Is there another alternative for companies to provide great experience to card holders?

What is a SaaS card wallet application?

A digital card wallet application is a type of banking app that allows users to manage their accounts and cards issued by their financial service provider, often with additional features such as loyalty programs and temporary credit. A SaaS (Software as a Service) card application platform enables companies to offer card management apps to their clients without having to deal with technical issues. A cloud-based digital wallet development platform such as Memento is one of these solutions, and offers card applications that can easily be customized to fit the needs of the business and its clients, with a modular structure that allows for easy modification of the app source code.

SaaS card wallet platforms have built-in business logic and processes, making the customer-facing application easy to manage. By using a SaaS wallet platform, companies can save 12-18 months of development work and focus on differentiating themselves from competitors. Overall, a SaaS card application platform offers a convenient and efficient way for businesses to issue and manage digital payment cards.

The modular structure allows your company to take it away

Memento provides modular applications that are great for customization because they are composed of independent modules that can be added, removed, or replaced without affecting the application's overall functionality.

This allows clients to tailor their application to their specific needs and preferences by choosing the modules that are most relevant and useful to them. The modular structure ensures maintainability, scalability, and flexibility. Because each module can be developed and updated independently, it is easier to fix bugs and add new features without affecting the overall application.

In contrast, traditional, monolithic applications are typically more challenging to customize because they are hard coded. Any changes or modifications to the application must be made at the system level, which can be time-consuming and risky. By building your application in-house, you risk that your project will become complicated to maintain, thus becoming too-dependant on individual employees or IT vendors.

Reach out for consultancy

It is likely that your business is considering issuing cards. Today, even non-financial companies can offer financial products such as cards, loans, and more. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to determine the best course of action for your company. If you are interested in issuing cards and would like expert guidance on how to set up a successful card application, you can request a free consultation with one of our specialists. During the call, our expert will listen to your needs and help you make informed decisions about your card issuing plans.