by Kali Geldis
NEW YORK (Credit.com) — Imagine a world in which you can walk into a bank branch and walk out with your very own debit card, complete with all the safety features of a debit card that normally takes days to arrive in the mail. That’s what the innovators at Chase did, and the result is coming to a bank branch near you next year.
By the end of this year, Chase customers in select regions will have access to 2,000 branches equipped with machines providing instant-issue debit cards. The focus is initially on New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, with more than 800 branches getting the technology in 2013 as well.
The technology allows bank staff to print a brand-new debit card, complete with all the security features you would get from a card in the mail, in about 90 seconds. Brad Nolan, head of design for branch innovation at Chase, says the bank chose to work with a company that could create the same product in the branches.
“That’s one of the reasons we chose to advance with the devices that we did. There are no differences,” Nolan says.
In fact, Nolan says the instant-issue technology actually adds another level of efficiency, convenience and safety for customers, since the customer’s PIN doesn’t need to be sent in the mail when a new card is issued.
From a customer’s perspective, here’s how the instant-issue machines work. New customers, as well as current customers who have lost their card or who have a damaged card, can go into a branch and get a staff member to print them a card with a new PIN. That card is activated instantly, so customers have almost no lag time in accessing their funds. Previously, if you lost your debit card, the bank would need to mail you a card, which can be a major hassle for customers.