Augmented Reality , Banking , Interactive Cards

7 Key Benefits of Interactive Cards Your Bank Must Pay Attention To

Upcoming technologies such as IoT & Augmented Reality enable banks to offer immersive user experience through ‘Interactive Cards’. Check out some key benefits of interactive bank cards in this blog!

With each passing day, the world around us is becoming more tech-driven and all industries have felt its impact. From agriculture to finance, technology has been able to revolutionize all domains by challenging and reforming the way things are traditionally done. One such traditional component of the Banking industry are Cards of various forms such Debit, Credit and Reward Cards.

With the number of debit cards in circulation in India reaching 998 million last year, the widespread use of these cards is apparent. At the same time, it also becomes difficult for banks to differentiate their offerings from the rest and they end up competing for various rewards they can offer to their users.

Upcoming futuristic banking technologies such as IoT and Augmented Reality enable banks to offer the next generation of ‘Interactive Cards’ that offer users a more immersive experience that unlocks a whole new world of potential for banks to take the user experience to the next level.

A very common place complaint of bank users is that they have to go through slow bureaucratic procedures to get things done at banks. At the very least, a visit is required to the nearest branch of the bank to register your request or complaint with a bank official.

On the other hand, bank employees have to deal with long queues and crowds at peak hours which can lead to increased workload for them and more waiting time for the customers.

What if there was a way to solve these problems for both parties involved? Interactive Cards are the keys to a world of banking solutions that can ease the life of users as well as bank employees through a common platform.

Wondering how? Let's take a look.

4 Ways Interactive Bank Cards Can Help In Better Banking Experience

1. Increased User Engagement

2. Integration of Online Services

3. Easy access to information about bank schemes and programs

4. Better complaint register & management system

5. Fast discovery of nearest ATMs and bank branches

6. Multiple Instant Payment Options

7. Early Mover Advantage

1. Increased User Engagement with Offline Services

Since the advent of Cards by Banks, they have primarily been used for payments only. But, in recent times, cards have opened the doors to many more benefits for end users such as discounts at various outlets, loyalty point programs for added benefits and access to premium Business Lounges across the country.

Despite these benefits being at their disposal, most users still use the Cards for payments. A large proportion of these additional benefits go unused. The reasons behind this user behaviour is the key to solve this problem. The major bottleneck in using these benefits is the inability to visualize and interact with these reward partners without actually visiting their respective offline locations.

Most of the time, rewards end up as unread mails and messages in people’s inboxes or on well-printed pages inside unread brochures. This is very central to the user behavior as traditional forms of communication do not convey the true value of what users can avail using their cards.

This is where technology helps by offering Interactive Cards that unlock the full potential of traditional cards by using Augmented Reality, GPS and IoT to facilitate user interaction with these rewards.


Let us take a look at an example. Westpac Bank in New Zealand has launched their Interactive Cards which are connected to a mobile app for users. Any user can scan the card using the augmented reality app and get all details associated with their bank account in one place in a visually appealing form. 


Source: WestpacNZ

For more such examples, check out 11 Banks that have successfully adopted Augmented Reality technology.

Furthermore, Westpac has its own Loyalty points program called ‘Hotpoints’ which can be availed on an online catalogue of products and services that their partners offer. This augmented reality mobile banking app facilitates user interaction by letting the users visualize these items in real time so they can understand the real value of these customer benefits.

This also enables users to do on-the-go shopping using their cards and to avail the customer benefits anytime, anywhere without the need to visit stores of shopping partners, thereby eliminating the geographical barrier for users.

Using these interactive cards, banks can also allow the users to avail geolocation services through a mobile location that can show them the nearest business and executive lounges and allow them to explore these venues using virtual tours facilitated by Augmented Reality technology.

Such visual engagement impacts the user’s decisions by allowing them to understand the full extent of services that will be at their disposal. This positively influences their decision to avail such benefits thereby maximizing the utilization of exclusive partner benefits associated with a card.

Also See: 9 Banking Areas That Can Be Disrupted With Augmented Reality

Another innovative way to facilitate discounts at offline partners is by integrating the loyalty coupons and discounts with the Interactive Card itself using IoT combined with mobile banking applications.

Thus, offline partners will be able to provide automatic discounts as they are connected with the card and can be deducted automatically by the respective POS devices at stores. This will not only leave a positive impression on the user but will also eliminate the need for a user to be aware about benefits to be able to use them.

2. Integration of Online Services

While Offline Services have geographical restrictions for users, Online services such as Cab booking Movie tickets, Food delivery and Ecommerce break these barriers and thus provide the potential for more regular customer engagement. Most banks partner with such service providers but it offers a different set of challenges.

Most users have to use the platforms of these service providers to use their services where multiple Banks and Payment providers are competing to offer the best discounts, deals and loyalty points to their respective users.

This leads to lower user engagement on such platforms for offers by Banks as they are competing with others as well as the platform’s own offers. A second bottleneck in reaching out to the users is that the promotion and communication of these offers have to be from the Bank’s side and the usage of these is on the platforms itself, thereby taking away the control from the Banks on influencing user behaviour.

The one-stop solution is for Banks to integrate such services with their own platforms and facilitate instant payments using Interactive Cards. The technologies we mentioned earlier along with interactive print help in the integration of such services in a visualised and immersive manner to rev up brand engagement.

Visa demonstrated such a platform which integrated their instant payment technology with a food delivery application to give it an interactive touch with augmented reality. Using this platform, users can hover over a map of the city, explore food items from their favorite food outlets and order in real time using their AR-powered instant payments system integrated with their interactive banking cards.


Taking this a bit further, Banks can facilitate multiple services simultaneously such as Cab booking and Food delivery which take place in real time and are location based. E-commerce platforms can also be integrated to facilitate easier, faster payments for things bought on these platforms through Interactive Cards, thereby keeping a user engaged with the Bank’s online partner services.

Imagine a world where a user needs a single mobile banking app to pay for all aspects of their lives and that app is provided by their bank. It can lead to increase in user engagement of bank's services and can also allow banks to cross-sell their other products and services on the mobile banking app itself.

3. Easy access to information about bank schemes and programs

Interactive Cards integrated with a mobile application can help banks in informing their users about their various programs and schemes that usually require visits to the bank and interaction with the bank personnel.

Scanning the interactive cards to unlock this augmented reality mobile banking app, users can explore various loan schemes, mutual fund schemes and deposit accounts that are available to them with rates personalized to their requirements which are determined by their card details.

BNP Paribas implemented a version of this technology which helped bank employees with visual information about their bank’s programs thereby eliminating the need to remember all details about all programs.



4. Better complaint register & management system

Another benefit of interactive bank cards can be to report complaints using interactive features of an Interactive card and a mobile banking app. On scanning the card, the mobile banking app can allow you to complain in real time without needing to visit a bank branch.

This not only streamlines and simplifies the complaint process for users but also eliminates queues and crowds at banks thereby allowing the bank employees to handle complaints in a structured manner without crowd pressure. It also eliminates the need for long wait times on helpline numbers for users.

5. Fast discovery of nearest ATMs and bank branches

A lot of banking services require users to visit the banks to fill forms and authenticate documents for maintaining a paper trail. Customers who are travelling or are away from their registered branches struggle to locate their nearest branches and have to rely on online Map services that might not have up-to-date data regarding the same.

Banks can allow their user to use their interactive cards to locate the nearest bank branches and ATM using geolocation services. Here’s how Axis Bank is providing this facility to their users.


6. Multiple Instant Payment Options

Traditional cards restrict users to use only a single payment option that the Card is meant for. Newer technologies like IoT are enabling Banks to offer multiple instant payment options to their user on the same card.

Wonder how?

Take a look at IndusInd Bank’s newly launched Interactive cards with buttons. This card allows the users to pay using 3 payment options that include Loyalty Points, Credit and EMIs of chosen duration with the push of a button on the card itself.

Utilising IoT technology they provide more freedom and flexibility to their users to directly benefit from their provided features and increase their engagement with their services such as Loyalty Points. Such interactive banking solutions allows the bank to understand and identify their audience preferences through insights and offer targeted offers to them based on the same.

7. Early Mover’s Advantage

Other than the direct benefits listed above, Interactive Cards are an opportunity waiting to be acted upon for all Banks out there. Many banks have been slow in adopting modern technologies with a certain banks still not offering the most basic internet banking services to their users.

In this kind of a market scenario, banks can set themselves apart from their competitors by offering such value added services built on top of their current offerings. Imagine a user’s delight on receiving an Interactive Card that offers all services of the bank on their fingertips in a streamlined, convenient and immersive manner.

Not only does it allow them to engage with the bank but it also provides a gateway to a hoard of offline and online partner services. Such an offering has a positive impact on the brand image of a bank and can increase the long term trust and stickiness of their services with their users.

Summing It Up

As the Internet penetration of India increases and smartphones becoming increasingly common among bank users, it is of utmost importance for Banks to take advantage of these opportunities to provide increasingly better banking services for their users.

Technological innovation will help the banks stay relevant and become more user friendly over time with more immersive and engaging user experiences using technologies such as Augmented Reality, IoT, and GPS which are more accessible than ever before.

It is time for your bank to make use of this opportunity and come on the forefront of technological progress in the banking domain by adopting Interactive Cards.

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