(New York, NY) Online payment card application abandonment is common, but can be curbed. Auriemma’s latest issue of Mobile Pay Tracker found that 49% of credit cardholders have abandoned an online card application, and that those who abandon only completed one-third of the applications they started, on average, in the past 12 months. However, Auriemma’s research also identified three ways to mitigate application abandonment—pre-approved offers, email and text reminders, and by thoughtfully communicating value proposition elements.

1) Pre-approved offers can encourage applicants fearing rejection to complete their card application.

One-in-ten of those who have abandoned an online payment card application did so for fear of being rejected. This proportion increases to 33% among those with FICO scores less than 670. Pre-approvals could help facilitate application completion for those unsure of their approval odds.

According to the Q2-2023 issue of Cardbeat US, 70% of credit cardholders say they are likely to apply for a new credit card if preapproved. This is especially true for cash back and point card applications.

“While some applicants may be attracted to a card’s value proposition, they may think the card is out of reach,” says Jonathan O’Connor, Senior Manager of Research at Auriemma. “A preapproved offer could be the tipping point that is the difference between application abandonment and completion.”

2) Following up by email or text greatly increases application completion odds.

Over four-in-ten cardholders who have abandoned an online payment card application say they received an email or text reminder that they started but did not finish the application. And this reminder led 45% of them to complete at least one of their outstanding applications.

“While reasons for application abandonment vary, some have more to do with technical or application-centric issues,” says O’Connor. “Reminders allow those who abandoned in frustration the opportunity to complete a process they may have always intended to finish.”

However, reminders do not always work on the first try. On average, those who completed an application following a reminder email or text say that they received over three communications before completing an abandoned application.

3) Make sure communications provide new, valuable information.

Email or text payment card application reminders can be helpful to some, but most want these communications to include new, valuable information. 73% of credit cardholders agree that to be valuable reminders should include fresh details about the card such as new introductory offers, rewards, or benefits.

“Providing increased value or reminding applicants of strong rewards and benefits can offset what otherwise may be seen as an irritating message,” says O’Connor. “While these types of communications are seen as an annoyance to some, offering an opt-out option while emphasizing new details or lesser-known features can motivate application completion without alienating your potential cardholder.”

Online payment card application abandonment is a challenge that can be effectively addressed through strategic measures. By enacting these three strategies, issuers can mitigate application abandonment and foster stronger connections with prospective cardholders, ultimately benefiting issuers and cardholders alike.

Survey Methodology

Mobile Pay Tracker

This Auriemma Group study was conducted online within the US by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma Group (Auriemma) in August 2023 among 2,151 adult Apple Pay, Google Pay, and/or Samsung Pay eligible credit cardholders. The number of interviews completed for both is sufficient to allow for statistical significance testing among sub-groups at the 95% confidence level ±5%, unless otherwise noted. The purpose of the research was not disclosed, nor did respondents know the criteria for qualifying.

About Auriemma Group

For nearly 40 years, Auriemma’s mission has been to empower clients with authoritative data and actionable insights. Our team comprises recognized experts in four primary areas: operational effectiveness, consumer research, co-brand partnerships, and corporate finance. Our business intelligence and advisory services give clients access to the data, expertise and tools they need to navigate an increasingly complex environment and maximize their performance. Auriemma serves the consumer financial services ecosystem from our offices in New York City and London. For more information, call Jonathan O’Connor at (+1) 1-646-437-6116.

 

(London, UK): Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services continue to see significant growth across the UK and European markets.  Over 19 million UK consumers have used Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services, including 40% of credit cardholders, according to Auriemma Group’s latest issue of Cardbeat UK.

Much of this growth can be attributed to Klarna and Clearpay, which are the top two providers used and preferred by BNPL users.  As of mid-2023, half (51%) of Buy Now, Pay Later users have used Klarna before, while 47% say it is their preferred provider. Use of Clearpay remains notably lower, with one-quarter (24%) of Buy Now, Pay Later users trying the service, and 10% preferring it over other providers. Regardless of the provider, the BNPL experience is overwhelmingly positive for those who have used the service. Over nine-in-ten (91%) BNPL users say they had a positive experience using it (up from 74% in Q4-22).

While expectations of regulation coming to the sector have placed a spotlight on Buy Now, Pay Later practices, discussions have not dampened customer appetite for BNPL. New providers continue to enter the marketplace whilst established players continue to increase their investment and focus on service enhancements. Earlier this month, Klarna confirmed an intention to continue investing in the UK market despite calls for tightened regulation.

Whilst growth continues with the younger generations (54% of credit cardholders under 35 have used at least one BNPL plan), there is increasing evidence that the relevance and appeal of BNPL has broadened. The UK Finance Payment Market Report found that the percentage of pensioners now using BNPL services doubled in 2022 compared to the previous year.

“UK banks and traditional lenders are beginning to recognise that BNPL is here to stay as a way for consumers to pay,” says Simon Cottenham, Head of International Partnerships at Auriemma Group. “The key for these players is to create a product, value proposition and customer journey which can appeal in this competitive marketplace.”

Similar trends are being seen in other European markets with Germany reporting 30% growth in BNPL use in the last year. Around one-quarter of consumers in Europe are believed to have made a purchase using BNPL with annual growth rates forecast in the 20%-40% range by most industry observers.

Auriemma Group will continue to monitor this space closely in upcoming Cardbeat studies and within its Customer Service Roundtable groups.

Survey Methodology

This Auriemma Research study was conducted online within the UK by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma in July 2023, among 80o+ adult credit cardholders. The number of interviews completed on a monthly basis is sufficient to allow for statistical significance testing between sub-groups at the 95% confidence level ± 5%, unless otherwise noted. The purpose of the research was not disclosed nor did the respondents know the criteria for qualification.

About Auriemma Group

For nearly 40 years, Auriemma’s mission has been to empower clients with authoritative data and actionable insights. Our team comprises recognised experts in four primary areas: operational effectiveness, consumer research, co-brand partnerships and corporate finance. Our business intelligence and advisory services give clients access to the data, expertise and tools they need to navigate an increasingly complex environment and maximise their performance. Auriemma serves the consumer financial services ecosystem from our offices in London and New York City. For more information, visit us at www.auriemma.group or call Jaclyn Holmes at +44 (0) 207 629 0075.

(New York, NY) Co-brand credit cards connect cardholder spending to exclusive benefits and rewards at their favorite brands. The fierce competition to capture everyday spend and increase cardholder acquisitions continues to push brands, issuers, and networks to evaluate which value propositions resonate best. Auriemma Group’s latest issue of Cardbeat US found that rewards—points, miles, or cash back for applying and for ongoing spend—are the top driver of card acquisition and usage.

The challenge for brands, issuers, and networks is crafting a compelling value proposition that optimizes their objectives and delivers a product that resonates with customer enough to stand out in a crowded marketplace. The card program’s benefits and rewards must be differentiated enough to speak to a brand’s unique customer base, while valuable enough to rival the competition, which includes proprietary bank cards in addition to other co-brand cards.

Auriemma Group’s latest issue of Cardbeat US determines the drivers of value proposition success by asking existing co-brand cardholders to compare potential co-brand rewards and benefits. Surveying opinions on the relative value of rewards, card design, tolerance for annual fees, and more, the issue confirms that card rewards are the primary driver of co-brand card success.

46% of co-brand credit cardholders indicated that their desire to earn ongoing points, miles, or cashback rewards for spend would motivate them to apply for a co-brand credit card, more than any other single factor across all types of co-brand cards (e.g., airline, hotel, retail). Attractive sign-up offers also play a role–29% of cardholders say they would motivate them to apply for a co-brand, the second-most cited factor.

And when considering potential motivators for increasing co-brand spend outside the partner brand, roughly eight-in-ten co-brand cardholders say their co-brand delivering double points for online (82%), grocery (81%), and/or restaurant purchases (77%) increases their likelihood to use it.

“Card acquisitions are powered by attractive sign-up offers and strong ongoing rewards,” says Gary Rezak, Managing Director at Auriemma Group. “Then the value of the rewards and benefits, as well as the cardholder’s ongoing relationship to the brand, continue to engage cardholders and unlock the programs’ full potential.”

In addition to rewards value, brand affinity is a significant driver of cardholder engagement, especially for retail co-brand cards. 34% of retail co-brand cardholders cite frequent purchases at the brand as their reason for applying. And hotel co-brand cardholders have their own unique motivations, with improving loyalty status as an especially powerful motivator of ongoing engagement for that category. While other co-brand card characteristics, such as the card’s design or APR, should be thoughtfully considered, far fewer cardholders say these factors have a major impact on their card usage.

“Many value proposition elements make an incremental difference in the success of a co-brand and cannot be ignored, but strong rewards value is a must,” says Rezak, “a co-brand without valuable sign-up and ongoing rewards risks never getting a prospective applicant’s consideration in the first place.”

To get full access to this special co-brand issue of Cardbeat, Auriemma’s syndicated research publication studying the debit and credit card industry, or to discuss a custom research study on cards and payments topics, contact Jaclyn Holmes, Director, Auriemma Research.

For assistance assessing, evaluating, finding partners, and negotiating your co-brand and private label partnership, contact Gary Rezak, Managing Director, Auriemma Group.

Survey Methodology

Cardbeat US

This Auriemma Group study was conducted online within the US by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma Group (Auriemma) in June 2023 among 1600 adult credit cardholders. The number of interviews completed for both is sufficient to allow for statistical significance testing among sub-groups at the 95% confidence level ±5%, unless otherwise noted. The purpose of the research was not disclosed, nor did respondents know the criteria for qualifying.

About Auriemma Group

For more than 35 years, Auriemma’s mission has been to empower clients with authoritative data and actionable insights. Our team comprises recognized experts in four primary areas: operational effectiveness, consumer research, co-brand partnerships, and corporate finance. Our business intelligence and advisory services give clients access to the data, expertise, and tools they need to navigate an increasingly complex environment and maximize their performance. Auriemma serves the consumer financial services ecosystem from our offices in New York City and London.

(New York, NY) Co-branded hotel credit cards earn consumers exclusive benefits and rewards tailored to brands they love. They function similarly to proprietary rewards cards, but there are several unique factors that inspire hotel card acquisition, usage, and loyalty. Auriemma Group’s latest issue of Cardbeat US delves into co-brand credit cards and loyalty programs, uncovering that experience-based perks and brand affinity are key to a hotel co-brand’s success.

60% of credit cardholders say experience-based benefits would make them more interested in applying for a hotel card. Room upgrades have the largest impact, followed by complimentary food and beverage, the occasional free hotel stay, early check in/check out options, and free Wi-Fi. In total, the desirability of these experience-based benefits outweighs that of spend-based rewards, which 49% of credit cardholders cite as driving factors for hotel card application.

“To cultivate guest loyalty, hotel card issuers must emphasize the unique experience their cards provide,” says Jonathan O’Connor, Senior Manager at Auriemma. “Issuers should not underestimate the value of a tangible perk, which is often more accessible to cardholders than calculating points. While rewards remain an important piece of the puzzle, experiential benefits are stronger drivers of pre-acquisition interest in hotel co-brands.”

Loyalty status also factors into hotel card acquisition and usage. Though ongoing rewards and attractive sign-up offers drive hotel co-brand applications, 31% of hotel co-brand credit cardholders say improving loyalty status also plays an important role. This is particularly pronounced for Marriott cardholders, 39% of whom say they applied to improve their loyalty status with Marriott.

Loyalty perks also have an incredible impact on off-brand spending. 83% of hotel co-brand cardholders say enhanced loyalty status upgrades motivate them to use their card for off-brand spend. Access to VIP experiences also motivates 51% of these cardholders.

“Envisioning an upgraded room, amenity, or enhanced service because of card spend is a significant motivator,” says O’Connor. “Knowing that greater card engagement can lead to an elevated hotel stay gives cardholders a north star to build towards.”

The distinguishing factor between hotel cards (and co-brand cards in general) and their proprietary rewards counterparts lies in the loyalty perks they offer. The ability to highlight experiences and a clear path to perks is what separates hotel cards from programs that have their cardholders doing the math.

“The key to unlocking a hotel card program’s full potential is the benefits that standard credit cards cannot provide,” says O’Connor. “Hotel co-brand issuers that look beyond the table stakes of a viable credit card program and emphasize experience-based perks and brand affinity will win over those that strictly focus on monetary rewards.”

Survey Methodology

Cardbeat US

This Auriemma Group study was conducted online within the US by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma Group (Auriemma) in June 2023 among 1600 adult credit cardholders. The number of interviews completed for both is sufficient to allow for statistical significance testing among sub-groups at the 95% confidence level ±5%, unless otherwise noted. The purpose of the research was not disclosed, nor did respondents know the criteria for qualifying.

About Auriemma Group

For more than 35 years, Auriemma’s mission has been to empower clients with authoritative data and actionable insights. Our team comprises recognized experts in four primary areas: operational effectiveness, consumer research, co-brand partnerships, and corporate finance. Our business intelligence and advisory services give clients access to the data, expertise and tools they need to navigate an increasingly complex environment and maximize their performance. Auriemma serves the consumer financial services ecosystem from our offices in New York City and London. For more information, call Jonathan O’Connor at (+1) 1-646-437-6116.

(New York, NY) Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to expand, with recent advancements in the technology being offered directly to consumers. The capabilities of AI chatbots, like ChatGPT, raise questions about the future of AI, and its integration into banking and payment experiences. Auriemma Group’s latest issue of The Payments Report reveals current usage levels of AI chatbots, comfortability with AI solutions being utilized by banks and retailers, and how likely consumers are to turn to AI chatbots for financial advice.

ChatGPT is still in its infancy, but 15% of debit cardholders have used it. Importantly, this represents a 68% take-rate among those familiar with the service. Other providers, such as Google’s Bard, DiabloGPT, and YouChat all boast similar take rates, according to Auriemma’s research.

While the casual ChatGPT user may prompt the service to help write an email or provide information on a topic, the AI language model can also provide financial support. This would be welcomed by 40% of cardholders who reported that they are likely to use an AI chatbot for financial advice, up 6-percentage points compared to Q4-2022. And this figure rises for Gen Z and Millennial cardholders, 60% of whom would be comfortable.

“Cardholders are broadly aware that AI is imbued in some of their bank’s automated offerings,” says Jonathan O’Connor, Senior Manager at Auriemma. “But the question is how banks can use AI to further support their offerings in smart ways. Some applications of the technology would be more welcome than others.”

Unsurprisingly, exposure to AI integration within certain tools appears to increase comfortability. According to Auriemma’s research, 62% of debit cardholders would be comfortable with an AI solution offered by their primary bank aimed at identifying potential fraud. Slightly fewer say the same about using AI to provide customer service (52%), assess credit worthiness (47%), or predict stock prices (45%).

Over half of consumers would also welcome AI solutions offered by retailers they shop with frequently. Cardholders are most comfortable with retailers using AI for fraud leads (64%), followed by price comparison tools (64%), customer service (53%), and personalized shopping recommendations (52%).

“For banks, the most immediate use case for AI is to support financial health initiatives,” says O’Connor. “Cardholders are already accustomed to chatting with AI to help solve straightforward issues. Utilizing the technology to connect cardholders with solutions or resources aimed at alleviating financial strain or enabling smarter spend decisions is a clear next step.”

The proliferation of AI chatbots creates an opportunity for banks and retailers to expand their offerings. Services like ChatGPT raise overall consumer awareness with AI’s capabilities and could increase comfortability with the technology being used by other providers they trust. As these services grow and increase in popularity, it will be important for banks to keep up should they want to continue to be cardholders’ primary destination for financial advice.

Survey Methodology

The Payments Report

This Auriemma Group study was conducted online within the US by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma Group (Auriemma) in March 2023 among 800 adult debit cardholders. The number of interviews completed for both is sufficient to allow for statistical significance testing among sub-groups at the 95% confidence level ±5%, unless otherwise noted. The purpose of the research was not disclosed, nor did respondents know the criteria for qualifying.

About Auriemma Group

For more than 35 years, Auriemma’s mission has been to empower clients with authoritative data and actionable insights. Our team comprises recognized experts in four primary areas: operational effectiveness, consumer research, co-brand partnerships, and corporate finance. Our business intelligence and advisory services give clients access to the data, expertise and tools they need to navigate an increasingly complex environment and maximize their performance. Auriemma serves the consumer financial services ecosystem from our offices in New York City and London. For more information, call Jonathan O’Connor at (+1) 1-646-437-6116.

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