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How can API Integration help your card fulfilment?

How can API Integration help your card fulfilment?

Automating card requests through API integration has many benefits in terms of time savings, efficiencies and data security.

If you're currently outsourcing your membership cards, gift cards or other cards to a fulfilment house or card fulfilment and mailing provider, how are you providing them with your data? And how are you receiving data back again to update your systems?

In most cases, data is provided via spreadsheets and sent over unsecure email, or via a password protected file. In today's GDPR world, with data integrity a critical factor, this isn't ideal.

This approach usually means manual exporting and importing data between systems, which is time consuming and prone to error.

Creating an API between two systems allows the card issuer's system to talk directly to the fulfilment provider's system without any of these issues, providing a constant stream of communication between them both.

What is an API?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. An API basically acts as a bridge between two software systems to allow them to interact seamlessly and update each other in real-time.

API for Membership Card Printing 🤝

Membership Card Printing

Let's say you are a membership organisation that has new members signing up every day. You send these new members' details to your card fulfilment provider on a regular basis for them to personalise and print the cards.

Instead of manually exporting each members' card data on spreadsheets and sending via email, which can be hard to keep track of and is open to error, an API submits the request for a new card as soon as it's received.

With an API, there's no manual work required (known as zero touch integration). A card request is made immediately via the API. When the card is fulfilled and sent, this information can be 'written back' via the API to update the record on your system.

What are the benefits of personalising and fulfilling your cards this way?

  • Efficiency: APIs connect up systems and workflows so they talk directly to each other and automate card requests, eliminating the need for manual spreadsheets or data exports.
  • Real-time Updates: Real-time updates are provided on the status of card requests, giving you a full and accurate picture of the landscape at any one time, keeping you informed and enabling accurate planning and tracking.
  • Customisation: API integration can be customised to suit your individual requirements. It also offers flexibility in that it can adapt as your needs change.
  • Accuracy: The API ensures data is transmitted accurately between systems, reducing the risk of errors due to manual data entry.
  • Security: Sensitive data is protected during transmission, with encryption protocols and multi-factor authentication.
  • Zero Touch Integration: Once the API link is established there is no manual intervention required, reducing the strain on IT resources and the need for hands-on configuration or maintenance.
  • Scalability: As your needs grow and change, the API can scale to accommodate increasing volumes of card requests and changes easily.

Using API integration to fulfil cards 💻

We work with a number of membership organisations and EV charging companies, personalising and fulfilling their cards directly to their members and customers.

EV Charging Points

Customer Enrolment
This EV charging provider acquires customer data via an end user app. Their customers must download and register on the app in order to access the company's charging services.

During the enrolment process, the customer clicks 'Request a Card', which sends the data directly to their CRM platform.

Card Request Received
When the card request is received by their CRM, it automatically pushes the request into our own system via API - with no delay and no manual intervention. This happens multiple times during each day.

Cards Personalised and Records Updated
We gather the card requests together and print and personalise the cards to a pre-arranged schedule and mail them directly to the customer.

The chip number on the RFID and the customer card number are captured on our system and automatically 'written back' via the API to the EV charging provider's CRM, with a time stamp of print and shipment.

At any time, the EV charging provider can log-into their dashboard and see real-time status updates of each card, which they can then share with their customers as updates of when to expect their card.

Talk to us about automating your card fulfilment

Interested in learning more about whether the API route can provide efficiencies for your card scheme?

Drop us an email at hello@thecardnetwork.co.uk or contact Sue Woodcock on 01244 526009.

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