AUSTRIACARD Turkey Offers High-Quality Services
We listened to Burak Bilge, Austriacard Turkey CEO, talking about their services, working principles, and products in our country.
Austriacard offers high-security smart card services and next-generation digital solutions to its customers with its 123-year global background and experience. We listened to Burak Bilge, Austriacard Turkey CEO, talking about their services, working principles, and products in our country.
COULD YOU TALK ABOUT THE COMPANY’S ESTABLISHMENT STORY?
Founded in Istanbul and offering high-security smart card services and solutions to organisations from many different sectors such as banks, e-money institutions, municipalities, public agencies, hotels, airlines, petrol station chains, etc. since 1996, Austriacard Turkey is one of the affiliates of Vienna-based Austriacard AG with a 123-yearlong background. Certificated by payment agencies such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and Troy, and carrying out information security operations with Turkey’s leader card customisation operation centres, ACT Card has been increasing its market share in our country via financial and technological investments in recent years and taking firm steps towards becoming a financial technology company with new products and services for digital security in line with our holding’s new vision of digital transformation.
WHAT ARE AUSTRIACARD TURKEY’S ROADMAP AND TARGETS FOR 2021?
As ACT Card, we process 2 million bank customer information every month in our Istanbul operation centre. We wish to expand our high-security production areas, where we process this information, with our growing business volumes and diversity. Additionally, we will sell our “Digital Onboarding” product that will ensure the secure execution of “customer authentication” workflows from the digital channels, which we have developed in accordance with our group’s vision of digital transformation. The first development on the “Digital Onboarding” process took place in March 2020, and the “Regulation on Banks’ Information Systems and Electronic Banking Services” published by the BRSA paved the way for “Know Your Customer (KYC)” and “agreement” procedures to be carried. out through digital channels. Regulations that will pave the way for the execution of customer gaining processes through digital media without going through the obligations of the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) were put in order with the law proposal sent to the Parliament’s Plan and Budget Commission in June. We aim to realise the projects that we previously conducted with NBG (National Bank of Greece), Volksbank, Sparda Bank, DADAT Bank&Paybox in Europe, and a foreign affiliate of a bank in Turkey with our bank customers, with whom we are in the demo stage now, with the enactment of the relevant laws in Turkey in 2021. We also see that the development and transformation in today’s world reflect on the processes of financial institutions, and they force their existing service understanding to become more creative and different. At this point, we will continue to offer solutions that will ease the burden of companies and ensure their uniqueness in the eyes of the customer.
WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES YOU OFFER IN THIS CONTEXT?
As a result of the increasing use rate of mobile solutions and digital apps that make everyday life easier due to COVID-19, we can say that the use rates of non-cash, “mobile wallet” apps, contactless payment habits, and wearable technologies will increase in the payment systems sector. We carried out a project in wearable technologies for our customers who wanted to make fast and practical transactions in 2019. We prepared cards with contactless chips in a suitable format and wristbands in a format where these cards can be placed for the participants of a sports organisation, and they were enabled to make their payments without contact throughout the organisation. In this context, we anticipate that payment habits will change, and wearable products will become widespread in the upcoming period. At this point, I have to add that plastic cards are still an extremely safe, practical, common, and cheap payment method, and of course, alternative methods will enter the market; however, we do not expect card payments to reduce in the medium term, which have now become quite easy with the increase in contactless payment limits and they can still be used with a peace of mind around the world. Payment institutions have also been offering non-plastic and all-metal cards to their high-segment customers for a while as a luxury status symbol in order to provide a unique customer experience. When we look at the circulation of metal cards, we see how it has increased over the last 10 years and reached 5 million in 2015 and 32 million in 2018. This number is expected to quadruple to 128 million in 2021. Besides, being customised only with laser technology, metal cards are contactless (dual inter¬face), their front side is completely metal, and the metal weight on the backside is reduced in production. We have reached an agreement with an industry-leading company in manufacturing technology, and we aim to put the metal cards into use in 2021 after testing with a few key customers. Finally, I would like to talk about our Digital Archiving product. We also give significant importance to our digital archiving product, which we have developed in sorting, scanning, physical and electronic storage of valuable documents with paper contracts and customer signatures on them to ease the operational burden of our customers in our product range.
Interview: Gültuğ Erdöl