The world of finance is constantly growing and evolving, with the card payment sector standing out as a particularly notable area of progression. In this article, we will explore how white-label card-issuing technology is transforming the way businesses operate and offer value to their customers. We will also gain insights from Sergei Astafjev and Dmitri Logvinenko, two industry pioneers and co-founders of Wallester, a leading VISA-enabler company in Europe.
Sergei Astafjev and Dmitri Logvinenko are both experienced entrepreneurs from Estonia whose roots stem from the field of Information Technology. They founded the organisation in 2016 as a spin-off from a Norwegian finance and credit company, and since then, they have grown Wallester into a fully-licensed financial institution, powering some of the biggest card programs in the world.
Bringing our attention back to the topic of the set discussion, let’s begin by answering the question, “What is the white-label card-issuing anyway?” In simple terms, it is a service that enables businesses to offer branded payment cards to their customers or employees without having to deal with the complex and costly processes of card-issuing, such as compliance, security, fraud prevention, and customer support. Instead, they can rely on a third-party provider like Wallester or other notable industry players who would take care of all the technical and regulatory aspects behind the scenes, while allowing the businesses to customise the design, features, and functionality of their cards according to their needs.
According to a report by Grand View Research, the global payment cards market size was valued at USD 81.03 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.8% from 2023 to 2030. The increasing adoption of digital payments, e-commerce, mobile wallets, and contactless technologies are some of the key drivers of this growth. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift away from cash and towards more hygienic and secure payment methods.
As we can see, white-label card-issuing technology is not only a viable but also a vital solution for businesses that want to thrive in the modern financial landscape. In the upcoming sections of this article, we will delve further into the escalating demand for white-label card-issuing, explore the technology and providers fueling it, envision its future trajectory, and much more.
The Rise of White-Labelled Payment Cards
In today’s fast-paced and competitive market, businesses need to offer their customers more than just products or services. They are expected to provide them with convenient and personalised payment solutions that enhance their loyalty and satisfaction. This is where white-label card-issuing comes in, as it allows businesses to create their own unique value proposition and differentiate themselves from the competition. Regardless of whether the business model revolves around loyalty programs, rewards, cashback, discounts, or simply as an independent payment method, virtually any company can find use in a personalised payment card program.
Adding to the aforementioned points, the versatility and scalability of these payment cards presents yet another advantage of the solution. Businesses can choose the features and functionalities that suit their needs and target audience, such as card type (debit, credit, prepaid), currency, fees, limits, security, etc. For further convenience, they can integrate those cards with their existing systems and platforms, using REST API integration.
Moreover, as it was established earlier, utilising white-label solutions is not only time-efficient but also cost-effective. Businesses do not need to invest in developing their own card infrastructure or obtaining licenses from regulators or card networks, as they can simply rely on a trusted partner that provides them with a ready-made and fully compliant card solution that can be launched in a matter of weeks or months.
According to Sergei Astafjev, white-labelled payment cards are “not only for neo-banks but for any business that wants to create a deeper connection with its customers and offer them more value.” He cites some examples of diverse companies that have adopted white-label card solutions for various reasons:
- Klarna, a Swedish FinTech company that provides online payment and shopping services, launched its own payment cards in 2022 to complement its buy-now-pay-later offering and give its customers more flexibility and control over their spending.
- IKEA, a Swedish multinational furniture retailer, introduced its own credit card in 2018 to reward its loyal customers with cashback and discounts on its products and services.
- Latvian Post, a state-owned postal service provider in Latvia, issued its own payment cards in 2023, providing its customers with a versatile payment tool for global transactions that extends beyond the traditional scope of postal services.
“These examples show how white-labelled payment cards can help businesses across different sectors and markets to enhance their customer experience and loyalty, increase their revenue and profitability, and gain a competitive edge in their industry,” stated Astafjev.
The Technology Behind the White-Label Card Solutions
White-labelled payment cards employ a comprehensive amalgamation of software, hardware, and security measures to function seamlessly. The software behind these solutions incorporates advanced algorithms and REST APIs that facilitate efficient integration with existing platforms and systems of businesses. These APIs enable customisation of card programs and ensure real-time data exchange, fostering a dynamic and responsive service.
The hardware aspect revolves around the physical card itself, which embeds EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) chip technology for enhanced security and global interoperability. Furthermore, contactless technology is also increasingly being incorporated, facilitating a smoother, frictionless payment experience for users.
A critical component of this technology is the rigorous security measures in place. These include advanced encryption methodologies, multi-factor authentication, and dynamic CVV technology that bolsters the security of online transactions. Regulatory compliance, including adherence to PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), is another significant aspect ensuring the safety and trustworthiness of these solutions.
Remarking on the potential of this technology, Dmitri Logvinenko, states, “The adaptability of white-label card-issuing technology is its real game-changer. It is built to be flexible, and capable of molding itself to fit various business models and customer needs. Its potential is not just in its current capabilities but in its scalability and capacity for future innovation.”
This profound adaptability, combined with robust security measures, places white-label card-issuing technology at the forefront of revolutionizing modern business operations.
Understanding the Role of Major Players in Card-Issuing
The card-issuing industry is a dynamic and competitive market, with several players offering different solutions and services to meet the needs of various customers. Let’s look at some of the notable players participating in the modern card-issuing industry, such as Railsr, Marqeta, and Wallester. Each of these companies has its own unique strengths and contributions to the development of white-label card technology.
Railsr is an all-embracing global embedded finance platform, equipping its clientele with the essential tools to sculpt engaging payment solutions. The platform delivers a complete range of banking solutions necessary for neo-banks in the making, including anything from wallets, accounts, and cards to credit, and rewards. This all-in-one offering makes Railsr an ideal choice for organisations aspiring to establish a sophisticated financial ecosystem from scratch.
On the other hand, Marqeta is the pioneer in the realm of modern card issuing platforms, delivering software solutions for immediate payment processing. Crucially, Marqeta’s expertise lies in the provision of pure financial infrastructure, with an emphasis solely on software solutions, bypassing the direct involvement in card issuing processes. This focus makes Marqeta an ideal partner for companies with the capacity to issue cards themselves, or those aligned with less advanced issuers lacking in sophisticated API integrations and detailed analytics capabilities.
However, if the goal is to achieve maximum innovation in payment card solutions, then Wallester emerges as a standout choice. As an innovation-first company, it exclusively hones in on the development of the most innovative financial digital technology. Notably, Wallester not only facilitates the issuance of the actual payment cards, but also boasts one of the market’s most sophisticated card issuing platforms. This enables businesses to exercise comprehensive control and monitoring of every facet of their card program. Given this, Wallester is the go-to solution for businesses seeking to enrich their product portfolio with the most advanced and comprehensive card solution in the current market.
As stated by Sergei Astafjev, co-founder and CEO of Wallester, “We respect our competitors and we learn from them. We believe that there is enough space for everyone in this industry and that each company has its own niche and value proposition.”
Final Thoughts & A Wrap-Up
Co-Founders Sergei Astafjev and Dmitri Logvinenko: Wallester Mission Day 2023
In the preceding discussions, we’ve delved into the transformative influence that white-label card-issuing technology is shaping the business operations of today. Leveraging the insights shared by industry pioneers, Sergei Astafjev and Dmitri Logvinenko, co-founders of Wallester, this article underscores the immense potential and game-changing influence of this powerful technology.
White-label card solutions provide businesses with a seamless avenue to offer personalized payment cards to their diverse customer base, thereby eliminating the necessity of engaging in complex and daunting card-issuing processes. This technology has been buoyed by increasing acceptance of digital payments and a surge in demand for secure and convenient payment methods. As we progress towards a cashless era, these solutions will continue to act as catalysts in the financial revolution.
Astafjev and Logvinenko firmly believe that white-label card solutions “will only gain more traction as businesses across the spectrum strive to enhance customer experiences and streamline operations.” As we embrace the fast-paced and transformative digital era, it’s critical to ensure your business doesn’t lag behind. Seize the emerging opportunities that this technological revolution offers and enrich your product portfolio with custom, user-centric payment cards, effectively ushering your venture into the exciting future of finance.