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Chase Looks to Refashion Branch Customer Experience with Debit Card Initiative

Chase's instant issue debit card initiative is part of a continuing effort to streamline and digitize the customer experience and onboarding process in in its branches.

Chase announced earlier this week that it will offer instant issue of debit cards at more than 2,000 of its branches by year's end. Customers will now be able to go to a Chase branch and get a debit card when they open a new checking account, according to a statement released by the bank describing the initiative. The bank plans next year to add instant issue of credit cards and Chase Liquid preloaded cards at branch locations as well.

While banks are trying to figure out what to do with their expensive branch networks, this initiative could help help Chase turn its focus in its branches from transactions that are already moving to the digital channels to customer support. The program's goal is to enable convenience for customers leading to greater overall satisfaction, Brad Nolan, Chase's head of design for branch innovation, says. That could lead to greater customer retention and cross-selling opportunities, he adds. The initiative (launched with the help of Datacard, a provider of ID and card solutions) has been live for a few months in the Los Angeles, Chicago and tri-state areas, and the bank has already seen an uptick in customer satisfaction in those areas, Nolan relates.

The initiative is also a response to changing customer needs at the branch. As more transactions move to digital channels, the branch is increasingly viewed by customers as a place to get help and support. This move by Chase will mean that their branches can better provide that help and support for its card services, Nolan points out. "Many customers still choose their bank by who's around the corner from their house. They want that safety of the brick-and-mortar," he remarks. "Now they can come in and get a replacement card right away if their debit card is lost or stolen."

[See Related: Chase Announces New CEO of Consumer Card Services]

The instant issue of debut cards also coincides with other new products and services that Nolan says will change the entire onboarding process of new customers at Chase branches. The bank is looking into adding self-service kiosks and ATM's at it's branches and also plans to add free public Wi-Fi in its branches. This will all lead to a more seamless, digital and paperless onboarding process, Nolan says. In the future customers will be able to walk into the branch and open a new account, get an instant debit card, download Chase's mobile app using the branch Wi-Fi and learn how to use the self-service kiosks from the staff all in one quick seamless process, he explains.

Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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