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New Digital Payment APIs Growth Potential

The global financial services market continues to evolve. With the rise of digital payment options, the ability to facilitate payments quickly became a vital element in the current convenience-driven Fintech landscape.

Payment cards have previously been the end products of complex payment systems. They have also been instrumental in advancing the underlying payments technology infrastructure, constituting the cornerstone of a fully functioning payments ecosystem.

Regardless of their evolution and popularity, plastic cards now stand at a crossroads and face new competition from purely digital payment platforms. The most prominent examples of such platforms are Digital Wallets and Superapps. 

Fintech Payments Market Development

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, the number of payment cards issued via digital platforms will reach 1.3 billion annually by 2027 -- that's up from just 500 million in 2023.

This growth of 170 percent reflects the growing interest in improving how users access and replace cards from issuers. This is because of intense competition between issuers from digital-only banks and new Fintech service providers that offer card services.

Modern card issuing platforms -- also known as digital card issuing systems -- allow issuers to create cards using an Application Programming Interface (API) driven approach, enabling cards to be delivered instantly to digital wallets, with the added option for a physical card, boosting flexibility, transparency, and speed significantly.

As part of the market study, Juniper released its latest competitor leaderboard which ranked the top 16 leading modern card issuing platforms, using criteria such as their solutions' completeness and future business prospects.

Juniper analysts found that the leading players scored well, based on their breadth of customization options and the large number of customers and capabilities, such as personalization and tracking available.

According to the Juniper Assessment, modern card issuing platform vendors must develop easy solutions, ensuring that these features can integrate with existing bank IT systems and bypass them where necessary.

"For issuers, staying relevant in an increasingly tech‑enabled banking market is challenging. Improving the flexibility, transparency, and personalization of the card issuing process is an important way issuers can improve the user experience," said Nick Maynard, head of research at Juniper Research.

Outlook for Digital Payment Card Market Growth

As such, Juniper believes that card issuers should look to design superior user experiences, leveraging the capabilities that digital card issuing platforms can provide.

That said, I anticipate digital card issuance solutions will provide a means to modernize existing offers and compete with digital-first rivals more effectively by tapping into a wider customer base that utilizes mobile wallets.

Digital cards can increase financial services brand visibility and accelerate the roll-out of new card-related products, and new programs at scale, while improving the customer onboarding experience.

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