Read below for the many ways associations use digital membership cards for ease of use, cost-cutting, and increased engagement. With an openness to new forms of engagement that drive growth, digital credentials for professional associations will revolutionize your organization.

How are association membership cards represented currently?

Today, association membership cards are typically represented with physical cards, physical certificates, or virtual certificates in PDF form. After signing up for a membership, a certificate is commonly sent to the new or recurring member’s email address to download to their device or print out for framing or filing purposes. 

The information usually found on a membership card is as follows:

  • First and last name 
  • Association member is affiliated with 
  • Member ID, QR code, and appropriate contact information
  • Membership expiration date
  • Membership type for associations with tiered membership options

When associations utilize digital credentials as a resource for streamlined credential production and optimized fraud protection, a whole new world of options for member loyalty and involvement presents itself. 

What are digital credentials?

Digital credentials are the modern evolution of traditional credentials including physical certificates, membership cards, and certificates of completion. They are issued as digital certificates, digital badges, or both together. Issuers use digital credentials to deliver secure, shareable, and verifiable awards for recognizing membership, rewarding achievement, and representing affiliation. 

Digital credentials are hosted on a dedicated credential page on a unique URL and include comprehensive details of the program. Recipients share their digital credentials to social media in celebration and add their credentials to their LinkedIn profile to improve their employability. Third-parties that view the credential gain a better understanding of what skills and competencies the recipient holds and the value that the credential delivered.

How can digital credentials replace traditional association membership cards?

The great news is that all of the information used on a traditional credential can live in a digital credential, and so much more. Not only can a digital credential hold basic information, it is also protected by bank-level encryption to safeguard your association against bad actor fraud attempts. With the simple scan of a QR code, your member can enter a convention or confirm the validity of their membership from the convenience of their smartphone device.

Why should associations consider digital credentials for their association membership cards? 

There are many benefits when switching from physical to digital membership cards. Digital credentials offer a higher level of fraud security and accessibility for you and your members. The ability to simply save a membership card to their digital wallet provides a smoother verification process for everyone and helps associations to lessen their carbon footprint by eliminating physical copy output. 

Additionally, the automatic expiration date associated with digital credentials is a beneficial tool to lighten your team’s load. Instead of manually going through a spreadsheet containing individual members’ application dates, the digital credential will notify the user automatically that it is time for renewal. This streamlines your workflow and minimizes user error so that everyone is guaranteed to get a reminder. 

In Summary

As we move into an increasingly digital world, the need for innovation also grows. Instead of stressfully digging through a briefcase or purse for their card, members are now able to easily access the ever-present digital credential within their digital wallet. Protecting your association’s information and incentivizing your members to join a progressive community will take your association to the next level. Take the next step and explore how to choose the best digital membership card software for issuing digital badges and certificates to your members.

For more information on digital membership cards, book a platform demo and see how Accredible can help you implement digital association membership cards for your candidates.

Further Reading

Explore this topic further and take a look at our downloadable guide that highlights the uses and benefits of digital credentials within professional associations:

Use this guide to:

  • Identify the major concerns of associations around credentialing
  • Research solutions for secure, verifiable credentialing
  • Implement easy-to-manage, scalable digital credentials
  • Plan effective digital credentialing programs that engage members
Get the Guide