Introducing Issuing: Launch a card-issuing program without the issues

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Sven Doerfel
April 25, 2023
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Introducing Issuing: Launch a card-issuing program without the issues

“Embedded finance,” the $7.2 trillion market opportunity, has driven fundamental changes in market behavior and technology, unlocking access to financial products like card issuance for fintechs and non-fintechs alike.

While consumers can easily switch apps and devices, they tend to remain loyal to brands that handle their money. And more brands are keen to launch native card programs to deepen trust and stickiness with their communities.

We’ve entered a new era where financial services are now everyone's business.

Take Uber cards, for example, which pay suppliers quicker and boost driver loyalty. Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) lenders are issuing virtual cards to streamline how consumers apply and receive financing at checkout. Retailers like Amazon and Walgreens also link their branded cards to loyalty programs to eliminate friction for customers and increase the odds of repeat business. Cards are even being issued to employees to facilitate expense management, giving rise to business banking startups like Qonto and Pleo.

At, we’ve partnered with businesses across retail, fintech, and on-demand services to understand the flexibility and scalability they need to deliver new payment experiences. And, after millions of issued cards with our beta customers, we’re excited to introduce our latest product for seamless money movement: Issuing.

Issuing gives you everything you need to issue, process, and manage virtual or physical card payments on your terms. It's purpose-built for you to deliver tailored payment experiences with:

  • Simplicity. Get the full, modern stack of proprietary issuing technology in one place—including issuing, issuing processing, card management, and compliance capabilities—so your business can accelerate time to market and drive data-rich performance.
  • Customization. Build a differentiated card program with total control over every detail of how it works in terms of card types, designs, carriers, and dynamic spend controls.
  • Control. Optimize cash flow and remove any pre-funding burdens, allocating the sales revenue from your acquiring balance to fund cards quickly. With our help, design the optimal authorization decision engine to streamline payments and have total control over spending decisions.
  • Growth. Shift payments from a cost center to a revenue driver, earning a share of interchange revenue from every card transaction. Your teams can leverage granular reconciliation of our fees, scheme fees, and your interchange profit to identify new growth opportunities as you scale.
Issuing in action: Optimize your payment flows

Problem: Payment authorization can be opaque, with merchants at the mercy of parameters set by issuing banks while also left in the dark about why some authorization requests are declined.

Solution: An intuitive decision engine leverages industry data and real-time Machine Learning capabilities to deliver a programmatic and dynamic approach to authorization, keeping merchants informed of reasons for decline and areas of potential improvement.

Financial services are now everyone's business

Embedded finance isn't a novel idea—think branded store cards, installment plans, digital wallets, etc. What's new is how technology is breaking down barriers and democratizing access to financial services, empowering businesses to increase brand stickiness, optimize existing revenue streams, and, in many cases, build entirely new ones.

Trust is at the core of brand loyalty; more businesses now understand this reality. That’s why, besides helping consumers with day-to-day products and services, businesses now want to facilitate how they pay, managing the overall customer experience from beginning to end.

Yet, the card-issuing landscape comprises a patchwork of providers, outdated infrastructure, and total rigidity that hinders innovation across traditional and emerging industries. Payments to cardholders—whether customers, partners, or employees—remain slow, with complex API calls, untraceable points of failure, and a lot of wasted time for finance teams managing the funding, balances and reconciliation. The result? Card issuing is still viewed as a traditional disbursement method rather than the disruptive force it can be.

Until now.

Issuing in action: Easily navigate the labyrinth of disconnected payments

Problem: When working with standalone acquiring and issuing providers, merchants are forced to pre-fund issuing balances or cards (or both), which ties up funds in transit.

Solution: By combining acquiring and issuing elements, merchants can automate the pull of funds from their balance and push these to cards in real time, removing pre-funding requirements and easing liquidity management.

A flexible card-issuing program for any business

Through a single integration with, businesses can launch a customizable card-issuing program that optimizes cash flows, eliminates operational inefficiencies, reduces costs, unlocks new revenue streams and builds unique payment experiences.

Here’s how.

A one-stop issuing shop

Launching and managing an issuing program is traditionally layered in complexity.

But, our one-stop issuing solution eliminates fragmentation because becomes your card issuer processor and card program manager. Combining these solutions empowers you to launch, manage, and scale an issuing program more quickly while working with only one provider through a single API integration.

As your issuer, we help you unlock any card format that fits your business needs. As your issuer processor, we do all the heavy lifting on the back end to build the optimal payment flow that boosts your acceptance rates without compromising security. And, as your card program manager, we help you manage every transaction touchpoint to meet customer needs, and enhance your business intelligence through unique customer insights and reporting tools.

Fully customized journeys

Your issuing program needs to be as dynamic as your business. That's why we've built Issuing to be agile, so you can shape customer experiences that differentiate your business.

On the front end, choose what card type you want to issue with full interoperability with Apple Pay and Google Pay:

  • Bespoke branded physical cards produced using eco-friendly or recycled materials to avoid plastic waste, or unique color combinations.
  • Single- or multi-use virtual cards that are also fully interoperable with wearable devices, offering convenience in the form of faster onboarding and enhanced security with biometric identification and tokenization.

On the back end, control how your cards can be used and deliver customized payment experiences that flex to your unique use case:

  • Define where the card can be used by assigning specific MCC codes. For on-demand services, onboard new suppliers quickly and issue single-use virtual cards that are funded in real time to reduce fraud.
  • Set rules around spending limits, removing the risk of abuse. For expense management, you can issue customized cards for digital wallets with built-in spend controls that fund expenses in real time for your employees.
  • Take a risk-based approach to authentication that can be configured for different parameters, with friction-friendly 3DS protocols such as one-time passwords and biometric checks to ensure the optimal balance between security and customer experience.

Read more: Virtual card issuing for travel: How to transform your B2B payments

Optimized cash flow

In line with the modularity of our solution and our belief that you should choose the best solution for your business needs, we're offering Issuing as a standalone service or in combination with our powerful acquiring platform.

For Issuing as a standalone, we've made it incredibly easy to pre-fund your account and manage your entire program through a single API. However, there are significant benefits for those businesses using Issuing alongside our acquiring solution.

Using multiple providers to move and manage money across the business creates stark operational inefficiencies and poor visibility in cash flow balances. Including for acquiring eliminates these issues, and money moves seamlessly—using your acquiring balance to fund your issuing program.

Unlock new revenue streams

Your business doesn’t stand still, and neither does Issuing. Our modular and API-driven architecture lets you switch on and scale up new services at will, enabling you to release better services—much faster and more regularly—and tap into new revenue opportunities across regions and industries.

With these capabilities, we're also making it easier for your business to earn a share of interchange revenue, something typically hindered by inflexible legacy technology. Merchants can lose up to 2% of a transaction in fees levied by issuing and acquiring banks, card networks, and payment processors for their various services. But, with fewer parties doing less, clients keep a bigger share of interchange revenue on every transaction.

Discover the embedded finance opportunity

Issuing cards is your entry point to tap into the trillion-dollar embedded finance opportunity. It can help your business strengthen its value proposition, delight customers, increase brand stickiness and flip costs into new revenue streams.

Upgrade your business for the new era of financial services, where card issuing is now the modern payment instrument built to help any business—fintech or not—thrive in the digital economy.

Learn more: Business expense cards: what are the benefits?

Card issuing that flexes to your needs

Tap into any opportunity by learning more about how your business can issue, process, and manage card payments with ultimate flexibility.

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April 25, 2023 12:20
June 14, 2023 16:50