Qore Creates An Automated Solution For Issuing Bank Cards

Disrupting the Banking Sector with Innovative Technology

Qore Creates an Automated Solution for Issuing Bank Cards Featuring Zebra’s Printing Solutions

Founded in 2008, Nigerian-based Qore (formerly Appzone Core, the Banking-as-a-Service company incubated by Appzone Group) is on a mission to revolutionise financial services through innovative technology solutions. Qore has become the continent’s leading FinTech provider. It backs 18 commercial banks for success, its cards issuance service is used by over 450 microfinance institutions, it hosts over 10 million accounts and its systems processes $11.8 billion in transaction values.
It has a reputation for innovation, having achieved a range of global firsts including launching blockchain technology for interbank transactions and creating Africa’s first cloud-based core banking solution and a mandate platform for direct debits.

Qore’s products automate banking operations, connect financial institutions and provide customers with access to a broad range of banking and payment services. A key area of focus for Qore is improving the way banking cards are distributed to customers.

Itsgoalwastoallowbankstocreateandsecurelyissuecards inrealtime,withouttheneedtokeepastockofpre-authorised cards in branches. It also wanted to accelerate the process for customers, who often had to wait in long queues to collect new cards, while looking for ways to reduce costs for banks too.

A New Category of Service

Working closely with its banking customers and technology partners, the Qore team came up with several options. Previously, Qore had created a counter-based solution, with card issuing software and desktop printers, to allow customer service agents to issue cards. The company looked at how this technology could be built into self-service card vending machines (CVMs). It branded this new solution, ‘Pryme’.

A critical component of Pryme is bank card printing, which embeds each customer’s details into blank cards. The project team defined the need for compact printers, to fit into the CVM, that are reliable and secure. Critically, too, it must be easy for bank employees to change print consumables, such as cartridges. And, as it got into the project, Qore recognised that having local expertise on hand was important.

“Of all the print specialists we spoke to, Zebra was the most responsive. And the company shares a similar innovation culture to our own,” said Anne Alu, Vice President, Card Management Service Technology. “The Zebra team had some great ideas and a wide range of print options. The device they recommended also had some smart security features which really stood out. As with any project, there can be issues. In this instance, many print vendors’ devices struggled to interface with the card encoding software. Zebra worked closely with us to resolve this challenge underlining the value to us of Zebra having a team based locally which is essential in a project like this.”

Secure, Reliable Printing

Qore selected the Zebra ZC350 card printer. Its compact form makes it ideal for installation into the CVM. It also prints quickly and accurately, can support almost any card design and has a range of robust security features built-in.

Importantly, these features include the advanced encryption standard (AES), to protect data while printing, and ribbon scrambling. Ribbon scrambling removes any residual trace of data that may be left on the ribbon. In addition, the mechanisms for loading cards and changing consumables are straightforward so it’s easy for bank staff to maintain printing services.

“Security is clearly vital in a solution like this and the Zebra device stood out in this regard,” observed Alu.

A Complete Self-Service Solution

The CVM manages the card issuing process. This includes card data generation, uploading details to each bank’s customer relationship management (CRM) platform and magnetic stripe and chip preparation and encoding.

The solution is easy for customers. At the terminal, a biometric scanner checks their fingerprints. They are also sent a text message with a code they need
to input into the terminal. With these checks complete, the card is issued in a process that takes less than two minutes.

A Host of Benefits

Prior to Pryme, banks accelerated the card issuing process by holding a stock of pre-authorised cards. These were attributed to a customer when they came into the bank and requested a card. However, the cards were active, and this created scope for fraud. Moreover, a card may only have a two-year lifecycle. If a customer came in and requested a card at month 22, the card would need to be replaced almost immediately. This was frustrating for customers and expensive for banks.

The on-demand solution means banks can now buy a stock of blank cards, without pre-authorisation, at a much lower cost from wholesalers. Fraud is eliminated also and there is zero card wastage. The biggest cost savings come from automating the process which saves staff time. Typically, where a bank may have needed five people dedicated to issuing cards, one person can be put in charge of the CVM now, freeing the other staff to focus on more value- added tasks. The ZC350 is also designed with simplicity in mind so it’s easy for staff to maintain. But if there are any issues, as Alu explained, Zebra’s local team is “On hand to provide fast service and support to minimise any downtime.

“At Qore, we love to do things differently and to find creative ways to change financial services for the better for banks and their customers. Our Pryme on-demand card issuing solution is a great example of our ethos at work and we’ve been delighted with the help, ideas and support offered by Zebra, which has the same can-do attitude as us.”

Yemi-Joshua Oladeji, Vice President,
Card Management Service Business, Qore

Pryme is proving popular with banks. Close to 200 CVMs have been deployed in only 18 months, a number which is expected to rise above 500 in 2023.

From a customer’s perspective the major benefit is all-around convenience. They can pick up their card in minutes, any time of the day or night, and they can avoid queuing. It’s also much easier to simply visit a CVM when their card is lost. Pryme has seen some customers replace their cards up to four times a year due to misplacing them, and by avoiding their bank branches, they save a huge amount of time.

“We’re delighted with the solution,” concluded Alu. “The printer is reliable, secure and easy to maintain for our teams. And the overall solution is also highly flexible. As it is cloud based, we can easily make any amends in line with changing legislation and make them available to all banks instantly.”