This article is part of the CreditUnions.com FinTech Series, a new collection of original Q&As that celebrate advancements in financial technology. Learn how your organization can participate today.
Kamesh Tumsi, Vice President for Product Strategy, Fiserv Card Services
The Fiserv worldwide client base includes more than 3,000 users of the financial services technology company’s card services products, a number that includes nearly 1,500 credit unions.
The Wisconsin-based firm’s CardValet® Client Branded App, which provides a customizable list of member-selected alerts and options, has become a flagship in its suite of digital products for cardholders, a lineup that has grown in tandem with the company’s debit, credit, and ATM payment services and networks.
“We offer credit unions the ability to differentiate themselves and grow digitally with their members’ expectations, regardless of size, through customization and integration,” says Kamesh Tumsi, the company's Atlanta-based vice president for product strategy for card services.
Here Tumsi talks with CreditUnions.com about Fiserv debit and credit solutions.
Please describe at a high level Fiserv digital products for card issuers.
Kamesh Tumsi: Our suite of digital solutions empowers cardholders to manage their cards in a seamless manner. That includes CardValet that can be used to manage alerts and controls, and Credit Full-Service Processing: Online Access to manage transactions, statements, and other self-serve options digitally.
Also under that umbrella is our tokenization services, which enable credit union members to use their cooperatives’ cards in all the major wallets — Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and we’re working on Fitbit and Garmin wearables.
We also have the APIs (application programming interfaces) for partner suppliers or financial institutions who want to build their own features, further differentiating themselves in providing a seamless, unique user experience.
There are 55 million U.S. consumers using their mobile phones this year to conduct payment transactions. That means, bottom line, if you’re a financial institution not fully connected to what those users expect, you’re not going to be able to play in that space.
There are 55 million U.S. consumers using their mobile phones this year to conduct transactions. That means, bottom line, if you’re a financial institution not fully connected to what those users expect, you’re not going to be able to play in that space.
What opportunities and challenges is Fiserv addressing with these innovations?
KT: Well, if you think about how financial institutions make money, number one is loans, followed by card interchange at number two. A lot of what we’re talking about here falls under number two. It’s about how these card solutions help drive engagement and card usage and reduce fraud. Offering your members tokenization services — what they see as using their mobile wallet — puts you in place to be the host for those transactions.
How does your solution help credit unions deal with disruption in their marketplace, including differentiating them from banks?
KT: Credit unions can use Fiserv digital card solutions to offer their existing and potential new members the kind of service they expect from the largest financial institutions. That includes the ability to customize what they want from us.
There’s a saying in our space: the only thing changing faster than technology is consumer expectations. Today, in cards, that expectation is the ability to do everything 24/7, digitally, without a phone call, including turning a card on or off.
We level the playing field for our credit union clients, and at a fraction of the cost, because most of our products are pay for use, where our clients only pay for their usage.
What differentiates your innovations from competitors?
KT: When we come up with a new offering or capability, we have the opportunity to think through how that fits in with everything we already offer. We take that opportunity to integrate features across our mobile and online banking platforms.
We also have a very large client base. That allows us to test new apps and functions in small or large groups, across multiple touchpoints, and at diverse kinds of institutions in myriad settings.
We also offer advisory services. We don’t just create all these solutions and let you figure out how to get them in the hands of consumers. We sit down with you, in many cases for free, and help you figure out who your target market is and how to reach them, how to create awareness of your solutions and how consumers can engage with you.
We help you with strategy, marketing tools, campaigns. That’s a powerful proposition compared with just throwing our solutions over the fence to you and telling you, “Good luck getting that message out to all your members.”
What kind of ROI can credit unions expect if they use this technology? How does it speak to their bottom line?
KT: We know that enrolled CardValet app users conduct two or three more transactions a month, for an average increased spend of $80 to $100. We know that CardValet users experience a 53% reduction in fraud. We know that a seamless digital experience increases engagement, and that increased engagement includes using their credit union for more products and services, including loans.
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