Although digital debit cards are not uncommon, Chesapeake Bank had trouble finding a ready-made way to issue virtual Visa cards to customers who wanted to use them immediately.
To remedy the situation, the Kilmarnock, Virginia-based bank worked with its technology vendors to develop a new process for instantly issuing an additional virtual Visa debit card number to existing customers, the $1.3 billion-asset bank announced this month.
Chesapeake Bank customers now have the option to go online or to the bank’s mobile app to request an instant virtual Visa-branded debit card connected to their checking account. The card can be used online or at the point of sale if the virtual card is enrolled in a digital wallet like Apple Pay or Google Pay, said D.J. Seeterlin, chief innovation strategy officer for the 16-branch bank.
The new service brings the 123-year-old issuer closer to the capabilities of many larger banks — and neobanks — offering digital-first services across the board, Seeterlin said.
“Customers sometimes had to wait 10 days for the plastic version of the card to arrive in the mail, and we wanted customers — especially new ones — to be able to make a purchase immediately after opening an account,” Seeterlin said.
The move underscores how the expanded availability of API-based digital banking tools are giving smaller banks opportunities to customize their users’ experiences, said Jason Henrichs, CEO of Alloy Labs, which assisted a group of community banks last year in developing a white-label peer-to-peer payments approach called Chuck, marketed as a lower-cost alternative to Early Warning Services’ Zelle.
“Digital and challenger banks continue to push the product experience to enhance value to consumers, and Chesapeake Bank saw the opportunity to work with their vendors to develop a payment experience that puts them on par with the innovators,” Henrichs said.
To create the new service, Chesapeake tapped its core bank services provider Jack Henry & Associates’ open-banking API tools, along with technology from Austin, Texas-based Q2 that backs Chesapeake’s online and mobile banking app, working with Fishers, Indiana-based software development firm Trabian.
With a software development kit from Q2, Trabian (a subsidiary of MVB Bank) created the custom integration and customer-facing screens enabling instant creation of an additional debit card account number at a checking account customer’s request, Seeterlin explained.
“Each of our vendors contributed a piece of what was needed and Trabian connected everything together to create the solution,” he said.
Chesapeake’s digital debit card is getting a positive response from existing bank customers.
“Some customers wanted an additional debit card they could use to segregate spending or pay for certain things like kids’ videogaming purchases, and with our solution they can instantly set up another virtual card number with the ability to turn it on or off within the app,” he said.