Associated Bank to issue instant permanent debit cards for new customers

Bank customers opening new accounts with Associated Bank will now be able to leave the branch with a permanent, secure and activated debit card that can be used immediately.

Associated Bank's new instant issue debit card program will take effect at 150 branches by March as part of a phased introduction of Datacard  CardWizard software.

The software is part of the Datacard Group's Secure Issuance Anywhere platform that allows customers to easily issue secure cards and credentials anytime, anywhere. Instant issuance also reduces the delay, cost and security risks associated with sending debit cards by mail.

This change comes as banks across the country attempt to recuperate profit losses caused by increasing regulative legislation, in particular, the Durbin Amendment.

Banks and other financial institutions have opposed the Durbin Amendment, which caps interchange fees for debit card transactions. Essentially, banks charge retailers an interchange fee for debit card transactions, which is in turn charged to the consumer.

According to, banks received, on average, 44 cents per transaction before the provision was implemented. The Durbin Amendment now caps the fee at 21 cents.

Val Glytas, the senior vice president and director of retail payments at Associated Bank, said that the new program not only offers increased customer satisfaction but also gives the bank an economic advantage under this new rule.

"With all the changes that are happening in today's market, it's important for financial institutions to strategically structure their debit card business so that they can stay profitable and successful,” Glytas said. “Instant issuance fits perfectly into our overall business strategy because it increases customer service levels and maximizes convenience. And, with immediate issuance and activation, it ultimately increases usage and transaction levels, which helps offset the change in interchange revenue we are all experiencing as a result of the Durbin Amendment.”

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