In the past six months the cardholder account controls phenomenon has gained momentum and is set to explode. For those of you who haven’t been keeping track or haven’t read my recent research note, I define cardholder account controls as mobile applications that enable the consumer/cardholder to take control of the authorization capability of his or her debit cards. In essence, cardholders can self-service their own accounts, turning on/off the transactions they wish to enable or disable or filtering them (for example, by merchant category, by geography, by total spend). From a handful of participants and providers we are now seeing a mushrooming effect, with many more app providers and more issuers expressing interest, and therefore more interest by processors and core systems to implement.
Initially, in my June 2014 Mercator Advisory Group research note Cardholder Account Controls via Mobile Devices, I counted a couple of developers and individual issuers providing cardholder account controls in the market. Today there are at least four developers, a payment association (PSCU, with its own patent), and a handful of debit issuers with apps embedded in their mobile banking product (USAA and Simple, for example), and a handful of early adopters/pilot test financial institutions that jumped into the market last year. One application developer now has almost 20 core systems integrated and over 80 financial institutions in its implementation queue. Another software developer has four processors engaged. And several large financial institutions have expressed serious interest in rolling the service out to millions of customers. As I said, this new feature capability is set to explode.