One growing area of interest is card issuance and associated services. The process of delivering credit and debit cards to consumers has evolved rapidly over the past few years to incorporate issuance using biometric identification, personalization options, and the ability to add physical card credentials to a digital wallet.
As customer expectations – driven by their experience of other digital service providers – continue to evolve rapidly, it can be difficult for incumbent banks to keep up. Outsourcing the card issuance process to a specialist vendor has obvious advantages: it enables banks to get access to people, expertise, and technology solutions that are not available in-house, and to refocus on core activities.
Cost reduction is another benefit, but one that isn’t always understood. When analyzing the financial ramifications of BPO, it is important to compare like with like. Comparing the direct costs of an existing card issuance unit with the costs of an outsourced solution does not take into account things such as the time a manager has to dedicate to overseeing the operation or HR-related costs such as holidays and pension contributions.
When outsourcing any process, a bank also outsources the associated risks. This requires a strong trusted partner. Furthermore, with clear SLAs and performance management tools, service delivery can be monitored closely and any remedies administered quickly and easily. As such, the bank maintains ultimate control.
BPO also offers an alternative to the narrative that companies need to reduce headcount as a result of the current macroeconomic environment. Hybrid models that see existing employees transfer over to the outsourcing company are common, while in some cases the outsourcing company can acquire its own relevant staff, machines, and buildings. A managed service approach whereby an outsourcer takes over an existing operation and brings in supplementary staff or technology as required is another option.