To give your customers a fast and easy onboarding experience, and to help you meet your business goals, Galileo offers products and features that minimize the friction between creating the account, issuing the card, funding the account, and spending.
Activation is the complete account setup process that goes beyond just activating the card. Successful activation results in an engaged customer with a virtual or physical card and funds in their account.
## Customer engagement after account creation
You already know that maximizing customer card activation and funding also maximizes spending rates. The typical steps to take a customer from account creation to spending are:
You create the account.
The customer activates the card.
The customer deposits funds into the account.
The customer uses the card to make purchases.
It is no surprise that the biggest losses in customer engagement occur:
Between account creation and card activation
Between card activation and depositing funds into the account
With these engagement points in mind, Galileo has developed products and features to guide your customers through the process so that they can activate, fund, and start spending from a new account as quickly as possible.
## Your activation strategy
To support your customer activation goals, Galileo can help you minimize barriers between account creation and spending with:
Immediate card activation
Funding at account creation
Spending and engagement incentives
The following sections describe how you can build a product that your customers can fund and start spending from right away.
## Immediate card activation
For immediate card activation, you can offer your customers a virtual card product. With a virtual card product, a customer has access to the card at account creation, and can start spending as soon as the account is funded. Strategies for virtual card products with immediate activation are listed below. For details, you can review these with a solutions architect at Galileo.
**Digital First** — Issue a physical card and immediately provide access to a digital version of the physical card. The customer can start using the digital card to make purchases and later receives a physical card in the mail. Setting up a Digital First product in conjunction with funding at account creation ensures that you only send a physical card to customers who have funded their account. See <a href="doc:choose-a-card-strategy#digital-first-cards" target="_blank">Digital First cards</a> in the _Choose a Card Strategy_ guide for more information.
**Virtual Only** — Issue a virtual card at account creation without offering a physical card.
**Virtual First** — Issue a virtual card at account creation, and give your customers the option to earn a physical card. If the customer meets your requirements for a physical card, you perform a product switch and a physical card is issued. For more information, see <a href="doc:choose-a-card-strategy#virtual-cards" target="_blank">Virtual cards</a> in the _Choose a Card Strategy_ guide, and see the <a href="doc:switching-products" target="_blank">Switching Products</a> guide.
If physical cards are a better fit for your business, you may consider offering instant-issue cards. Instant-issue cards are bulk-order physical cards that can be preloaded with funds so that customers can have a card and start spending right away, without waiting for a card in the mail. See <a href="doc:choose-a-card-strategy#instant-issue-cards" target="_blank">Instant-issue cards</a> in the _Choose a Card Strategy_ guide, and in particular, see <a href="doc:choose-a-card-strategy#encourage-potential-customers-to-try-your-product" target="_blank">Encourage potential customers to try your product</a> for details about how this works as an activation strategy.
## Funding at account creation
To maximize account funding rates, you can give your customers the opportunity or requirement to fund a new account at account creation. Some options are:
**Direct deposit from a card** — You can employ a third-party service that lets customers deposit funds using a debit card.
**Direct deposit from paychecks** — You can also encourage your customers to set up direct deposit from paychecks into their account.
**ACH float** — Send an outgoing ACH debit request to an external account and make a portion of the funds available immediately. There are risks associated with this option, but with the right risk management strategies in place, it can drive user activation.
## Spending and engagement incentives
To incentivize spending after the card is activated and funded, you may consider offering rewards for spending and engagement. Some examples are:
**Cashback bonus** — You can offer cash bonuses for account milestones, such as setting up direct deposit or spending a certain amount over a specified period.
**Customized card art** — When customers meet your requirements for a physical card, you can offer card art as an additional perk. You may present your customers with different backgrounds or images.
**Upgrade to metal cards** — Depending on your emboss vendor you can offer metal cards to your most engaged customers to encourage continual usage. You can also offer other novel materials such as bamboo or wood.
**Gamified incentives** — Gamified bonuses, like rewards points, cash back and card upgrade milestones can motivate your customers to keep coming back to your product.
**Referral incentives** — You may incentivize referrals by offering a bonus to both your existing customer and a referred friend. A cash bonus or stock encourages the referred customer to start engaging with your product.
You can talk to your Galileo representative for more information about spending and engagement incentives.