Card Program Evolution: Escaping the Legacy Hamster Wheel

Card programs are an essential source of direct and indirect revenue for financial institutions, but many are stuck in the past.

When it comes to innovation, many card issuers are in a state of learned helplessness, like hamsters endlessly running on a wheel and never moving forward. Building upon dated technology rather than replacing it is common for FIs and their service providers, creating a mash-up of various legacy technology stacks and custom programming changes that are complicated to manage and, in some cases, impossible to innovate on top of. Many banks and credit unions may feel powerless, but modernizing away from a legacy-dependent card program is attainable and necessary for long-term growth and viability.

This report evaluates various stages of card program maturity. It provides recommendations for banks to progress to each next stage to achieve a transformative card program. It is based on a survey of 12 card program executives at large, midsize, and small U.S. FIs that understand card issuing and processing.

Clients of Datos Insights’ Retail Banking & Payments service can download this report.

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