There is no denying that innovation in the technology sector has amplified the fast-paced world of finance, instigating constant transformation from brands that want to stay ahead. As with any fast-paced industry, many trends emerge as companies fight to remain relevant. One such trend we will be exploring is the increase in white-label cards and the companies facilitating the issuing of them.
The process of issuing white-label cards has emerged as a powerful solution in the fintech space, offering customized payment experiences that cater to the unique needs of both businesses and customers. In this article, we will delve into the world of white-label cards, exploring its benefits, applications, and why it has become such a popular choice for financial institutions and fintech companies.
Understanding white-label cards
White-label cards, also known as private-label credit cards, involve the practice of businesses providing other businesses with the opportunity to offer customized credit or debit cards to their customers. Trusted financial institutions or fintech companies issue these cards on behalf of the businesses, while still reflecting the company's branding.
This approach allows businesses to incorporate their logo and branding on the private label credit card, granting the business ownership and control over the card's identity, all without the burden of creating or designing it from scratch.
By partnering with an established financial institution or fintech company, businesses can save time, effort, and resources by leveraging ready-to-use payment solutions instead of going through the costly and complex process of obtaining licenses from companies like Mastercard or Visa.
The shift toward customized payment solutions
Traditional banking systems have often been perceived as slow in adopting new systems and embracing innovation. As the demand for personalized payment experiences continues to grow, businesses are leveraging the opportunity to keep up with the evolving needs of customers seeking customized payment solutions and private-label credit cards.
Consumers today seek customized solutions that align with their preferences and reflect the brands they trust. This shift in consumer behavior has paved the way for white-label cards and in turn, card issuers, which offers businesses the ability to tailor payment solutions and private-label credit cards to their customers' needs.
Third-party establishments are now offering streamlined payment solutions to these businesses, allowing them to leverage this new technology without needing to complete extensive and costly onboarding processes. Instead, the card issuing companies undergo this process and once accredited are able to provide full-service payment options to their clients.
With co-branded private-label credit cards, customers can unlock a multitude of rewards, bonus points, and exclusive discounts that can be utilized across various services, retailers, and online shopping platforms. By offering these enticing benefits, businesses are able to enhance the overall purchasing experience for their customers, cultivating loyalty and satisfaction.
Private-label credit cards can also come in the form of virtual cards, allowing users to make online payments or use services like Apple Pay with their unique account that essentially acts as a bank account.
The advantages and benefits of private label credit cards
The advantages of businesses utilizing the services of white-label card issuers are numerous, benefiting not only businesses but individuals too.
Firstly, white-label card programs offer a cost-effective alternative to building an in-house card program. By partnering with established providers, businesses can save on upfront costs, development time, and ongoing maintenance expenses.
White-label card programs also offer flexibility and scalability, making them suitable for businesses of all sizes. Whether you're a startup looking to launch a branded payment card quickly or an established business seeking to enhance your payment offerings, the processing of white-label cards can be tailored to meet your unique requirements.
From a branding perspective, white-label card programs provide businesses with heightened visibility and customer loyalty. By issuing branded payment cards, businesses can strengthen their brand identity and foster a deeper connection with their customers. Customizable card designs, exclusive rewards programs, and personalized customer experiences all contribute to building customer loyalty and market competitiveness.
For individuals, white-label cards bring convenience and security. These cards can be seamlessly integrated into existing payment ecosystems, enabling individuals to make secure transactions while enjoying the benefits and perks offered by the businesses they frequent.
Whether it's earning loyalty points, accessing exclusive discounts, or tracking expenses, white-label cards empower individuals with a seamless and tailored payment experience.
Addressing security and regulatory concerns
As with any financial solution, security and regulatory compliance are paramount. Financial institutions and fintech companies offering white-label card programs implement robust security measures to safeguard cardholder data and prevent fraudulent activities.
Compliance with industry regulations, such as PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), ensures that customer data is handled securely. Additionally, data privacy and protection measures are put in place to give cardholders peace of mind when using white-label cards.
Examples of brands that have launched a private label card
Below are two examples of prominent brands that have embraced the white-label card trend in its early stages.
In 2019, Square, a prominent payment processing company, partnered with Marqeta's white-label card processing platform to introduce the Square Card, a business debit card designed specifically for Square's sellers. This strategic move allowed Square's business customers to gain immediate access to funds, reducing their reliance on traditional banking services.
By leveraging Marqeta's solution, Square not only expanded its product portfolio but also strengthened its relationships with its existing customer base.
Another notable fintech player, Stripe, offers businesses APIs to issue their own credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards. Shopify, a renowned e-commerce platform, utilized Stripe's card issuing services to create the Shopify Balance Card, designed to help businesses start, grow and run their operations.
This card enables over 1 million of Shopify’s merchants to access their earnings instantly through a smart money management tool. The response to the launch was immediate and overwhelmingly positive, as over 100,000 small businesses in the United States embraced Shopify Balance accounts within the first four months.
Through the implementation of Stripe's white-label solution, Shopify added significant value to its merchants, setting itself apart from other e-commerce platforms.
Benefits reported in the case studies
Companies that have implemented the processes to issue white-label cards have reported several potential benefits, including:
Speed to market
Utilizing a white-label solution enables companies to launch card programs more swiftly. These solutions handle critical aspects such as regulatory compliance, technology development, card design, and manufacturing, which can be time-consuming and costly to manage in-house.
White-label solutions generally require less investment than building a card-issuing infrastructure from scratch. Consequently, companies can save costs associated with development, maintenance, and compliance.
Enhanced customer engagement and retention
By offering a branded payment solution, companies can build stronger customer loyalty. Customers appreciate the convenience and exclusive perks that come with these cards, leading to higher engagement and retention rates.
Creation of new revenue streams
Companies can generate additional revenue streams by offering supplementary services through the card, such as cash-back rewards, premium subscriptions, or lending services.
What businesses should consider before implementing
Implementing a white-label card program requires careful planning and consideration. While the benefits listed above have been reported by companies that have implemented these strategies, these outcomes are not guaranteed. Businesses need to collaborate closely with their chosen white-label card issuer to ensure a smooth implementation process.
This involves outlining the desired features and functionalities, integrating with existing payment infrastructure and systems, and training staff to manage the program effectively. Technical requirements, such as API integrations and data synchronization, should be addressed to ensure a seamless user experience.
Future trends and innovations in white-label card programs
Looking ahead, the future of issuing white-label cards holds great promise, driven by several key factors:
The ever-evolving demand for financial services presents a significant opportunity. Regardless of their size or industry, businesses are increasingly seeking to expand their service offerings with payment and financial solutions.
This trend aims to cultivate customer loyalty and explore new revenue streams. As a result, the demand for issuing white-label cards is expected to continue its upward trajectory.
Fintech advancements, such as the widespread use of APIs and enhanced security measures, are simplifying the adoption of issuing white-label cards for businesses. As technology continues to progress, platforms issuing white-label cards are poised to become even more efficient, flexible, and secure, providing a seamless experience for both businesses and customers.
Developments in financial institutions' regulations
The regulatory landscape in the financial services sector is undergoing significant changes. Regulatory bodies worldwide are displaying a willingness to embrace fintech innovation, with some jurisdictions creating "fintech sandboxes" that facilitate controlled testing of new financial products. Should this trend persist, it could streamline the process for businesses to launch the issuing of white-label card programs.
The future of companies issuing white-label cards faces challenges primarily from increasing competition in the market. With more companies entering the space, businesses may experience pricing pressures and difficulties in standing out from the competition. To succeed, businesses need to differentiate themselves through innovation, personalized experiences, and strong partnerships.
They must also navigate regulatory uncertainties, address cybersecurity risks, and employ strategies to seize opportunities and overcome challenges in this dynamic sector. Continuous monitoring, agile decision-making, and a proactive approach are essential for businesses operating in the white-label card-issuing industry.
Tap’s white-label card solution
Tap’s business portfolio offers a streamlined card-issuing service to businesses of all kinds. Fully accredited, Tap is able to offer its partnering companies Mastercard-powered private cards for a fraction of the cost and time it would take if done directly with the financial services company.
In 2023, Tap provided Bitfinex, the longest-running and most liquid major crypto exchange, with a white-label prepaid card solution. By providing the behind-the-scenes financial infrastructure, the established exchange provided its clients with a unique payment solution and created a new revenue stream for the business.
With the necessary card-issuing license and already-established in-house processing system in place, businesses can quickly create their own white-label cards through Tap’s fiat and cryptocurrency-to-fiat funded card programs and other innovative services.
White-label card issuing is revolutionizing the payment landscape, with its rise signifying a powerful solution in the fintech space, delivering customized payment experiences that cater to the unique needs of businesses and customers.
As technology continues to drive innovation, white-label card programs offer speed to market, cost reduction, enhanced customer engagement, and the creation of new revenue streams. However, businesses should carefully consider implementation factors and address potential challenges, such as regulatory compliance and cybersecurity risks.
The future of private-label credit card issuing appears promising, driven by market demand, technological advancements, and regulatory developments. To capitalize on this trend, businesses must differentiate themselves in a competitive landscape and adapt to evolving market dynamics.
Tap's white-label card solution exemplifies the potential of such programs, providing businesses with streamlined card-issuing services and opening new opportunities for revenue growth. As the industry continues to evolve, white-label card issuing will play a vital role in shaping the future of finance, enabling seamless and tailored payment experiences for businesses and individuals alike.
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