The Quantitative Impact of Digital Card Management on Financial Institution Revenue

Shopper in their car receiving items by curbside pickup.

We’ve run the numbers, and the data is clear: Digital card management elevates key metrics for our bank and credit union clients


Face-to-face interactions were once the undisputed number-one point of engagement between banks and credit unions and their customers and members. The branch experience is still very important. Today, however, debit and credit cards can give financial institutions an equally powerful way to satisfy customers and drive revenue. 

The story starts with U.S. consumers’ growing preference for paying with debit and credit cards. In 2016, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 45% of all payments were made with debit or credit. By 2022, purchases made by card increased to 60% of all payments. 

The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing are responsible, at least in part, for higher levels of card-based spending. Even now, however, consumers really like having the option of making purchases with the greatest convenience and least amount of in-person interaction possible.

We see this in the sustained growth of contactless payments; omnichannel shopping (curbside pickup, order online and return in-store, and the like); recurring-charge subscriptions; and card-on-file stored payments.


The digital card management opportunity

As with so much else in the business-to-consumer economy, for financial institutions, your product is no longer just the services you offer. Your product is also the experience that consumers have with your brand.

Your cardholders have higher expectations for their cardholding experience. Digital card management solutions, such as CardHub from Fiserv, can help you exceed cardholder expectations.   



Figure 1: Key performance indicators: CardHub vs. Non-CardHub clients

Comparing 2022 to 2023, CardHub clients had, on average, higher growth in performance than non-CardHub clients.

Digital card management helps ensure that your relationship with your customers and members is driven by seamlessly connecting their debit and credit cards to every corner of their retail and service experience. 

A cardholder-focused digital card management experience empowers your customers and members to: 

  • Access their existing cards and get new cards through digital card issuance – without the wait for a physical card to be mailed
  • Immediately push their cards out to their Apple Wallet® or Google Wallet™, making secure and seamless transactions even easier and ensuring, for instance, that their curbside grocery pick-up is ready to go even if their wallet is left behind at home
  • Understand where and how they are spending, with enriched transaction data showing what, when and where they’ve made purchases, including where their cards are stored on file for recurring purchases – everything from ensuring their Netflix queue will always load to getting their latest Amazon purchase shipped quickly
  • Be in control of their cards in the palm of their hands, with all the alerts and controls they’ve come to expect – from setting a quick travel plan to limiting a transaction amount at the gas pump


The quantitative impact of digital card management

For many financial institutions, card-based spending means new opportunities to generate revenue from card-present transactions, card-not-present transactions (including subscriptions and card-on-file sales) and purchases made with digital wallets.  

Of course, the big question is, what kind of returns should financial institutions expect from an investment in a digital card management solution?

To answer that question, we performed an analysis of CardHub key performance indicators in the debit portfolio only. We wanted to know, does being on CardHub correlate with improvements in:

  • Total active cards
  • POS active cards (cards used in last 30 days)
  • POS transactions
  • Total spend
  • Financial institution interchange revenue
  • Reduction in fraud

Our analysis shows that CardHub clients outperformed their non-CardHub counterparts in all metrics tracked (figure 1). As a result, CardHub clients grew their interchange revenue by 3.6% year over year, versus 2.1% for non-CardHub clients. 



Figure 2: Fraud impact analysis: CardHub clients

Clients who have been on CardHub for at least one year saw, on average, a reduction in fraud when compared to clients not on CardHub.

We also performed a fraud-impact analysis of how clients on CardHub for at least a year performed compared to non-CardHub clients (figure 2).

CardHub clients had, on average, 11% lower average fraud amount per distinct card than their non-CardHub peers. Moreover, CardHub clients had a 12.5% lower average fraud count per distinct card than did non-CardHub clients. Both metrics were measured year over year.

We’d expect this kind of improved fraud performance given the enriched transaction data that CardHub offers.

Cardholders can look up a wealth of details about a questionable charge (address on a map, phone, real business name and the like). Those details might jog a cardholder’s memory about an actual charge they didn’t remember (preventing needless calls to service centers).

If, however, the cardholder reviews the enriched data and is certain it’s an erroneous charge, they’re more likely to report it if they feel confident in their assessment (rather than letting the charge go and thinking that, absent additional information, it’s probably okay).


Even post-pandemic, people want digital experiences

Consumer preferences are always changing, but usually in a slow and steady way. With the COVID-19 pandemic, however, consumer behavior changed rapidly and profoundly. In-person service of all kinds disappeared overnight.

Even now, however, when consumers are free to shop and bank whenever and wherever they wish, they still want the choice of having digital experiences that are powered by their debit and credit cards. Digital card management solutions offer financial institutions a way to meet cardholder expectations while also growing revenue.

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