Instance Issuance Payment Card Shipments: Physical versus Digital

Source Research:

Card Issuer Requirements and Best Practices for Phygital Adoption

Presentation | 03 May 2024 | PT-3002


Fintech companies are meeting the growing demand for digital platforms to facilitate business operations, while payment networks such as Visa are facilitating transactions within these digital platforms. Financial institutions are providing essential banking products and services to support and strengthen these solutions. This collaborative effort across the payments ecosystem has led to the expansion of virtual cards into small- and mid-market segments across various industries.

Digital issuance offers banks an additional communication channel with customers, including personalized options and post-issuance offers. The economic uncertainties of the last few years have prompted banks and issuers to reassess operational costs, leading to branch closures and back-end upgrades for efficiency. In this cost-conscious environment, concerns about environmental impact accompany considerations of card issuance expenses, such as hardware, software, and physical card production and delivery. ABI Research expects digital instant issuance to increase quickly, from 542 million in 2023 to 1956 million by 2028.


As it relates to the physical instant issuance market, the ability for customers to receive a bank card there and then in-branch is very much prized, as it not only enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty, but also positively influences the bank’s branding.

This is supported by the rollout of self-service across myriad sectors, including payments in areas like Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and transport. This, in turn, is guiding cardholder expectations. ATM’s integration with physical instant issuance already in the field, deployed beyond the traditional branch environment, will support the market over the next few years. ABI Research anticipates physical instant issuance card shipments increasing from 305 million in 20223 to 559 million by 2028.