Upbound Group, a provider of consumer leasing services, has forged an agreement with Genesis Financial Solutions, a provider of near-prime consumer financial services, to provide credit solutions to customers in its platform of brands, including Rent-A-Center and Acima.

As part of the agreement, Genesis will serve as program manager and service a general-purpose credit card for qualified Rent-A-Center and Acima customers, as well as a second-look point-of-sale private label credit card to approve initially declined applicants for Acima’s network of retail merchant partners.

This partnership showcases the enduring value of co-brand and private label credit card products and, more specifically, the potential for second-look services to approve credit applicants who were initially declined. In a recent Auriemma study, 37% of cardholders indicated they had been declined for a credit or store card application. And of the one-fifth offered a second look offer, 76% accepted the alternative card.

With credit conditions expected to tighten at lenders across the country, second look is more valuable than ever for converting more applicants to cardholders.

Cardless, an emerging co-brand credit card provider based in San Francisco, recently announced it secured a three-year, $75 million credit facility from i80 Group. The company stated that the credit facility will enable Cardless “to fund customer receivables, growth, and continue its work with large, globally recognized brands.”

Additionally, Cardless announced that Brian Kelly, founder of The Points Guy, which tracks and ranks credit card value propositions and redemption options, is an investor and advisor.

The entry of Cardless, along with Imprint, Deserve, and Tandym, in recent years is beginning to altered the co-brand and private label credit card competitive landscape, which has been historically dominated by a set of incumbent banks, many of them household names.

Research suggests that incumbents do have significant advantage, as cardholders place a premium on their preferred banks issuing their co-brand cards. Recent Auriemma data indicates that 72% of cardholders say it is somewhat or very important for their preferred issuer to issue their ideal co-brand card.

Nonetheless, co-brand and private label credit cards are in high demand, with 36% of cardholders saying they are likely to apply for one in the next 12 months. The number rises to 56% among Millennials. If new co-brand and private label providers can offer cards for previously unserved brands and deliver valuable product innovations, they should find plenty of room to grow.

Auriemma recently published the Q1-2023 Cardbeat US report. The issue examines new card acquisition, outstanding debt, store debit and credit cards, and using rewards points with partner brands. Those interested in learning more about Auriemma’s research or about this issue should contact research@auriemma.group.

Findings include:

 

Word of mouth, third-party comparison websites, and digital channels are paramount to marketing and customer acquisition strategies.

  • Digital information sources like third-party comparison websites (91%) and social media posts (86%) are influential in deciding whether to apply for a payment card among those who used them—over half (56%-58%) ended up applying.

 

60% of cardholders say they spend multiple days considering a new credit card (38% for debit cards), and over half say the reason is because they want to compare the card to others on the market (54%) and/or do additional research on the card (53%).

  • 16% of cardholders say sign-up offers are the primary reason they applied for a credit card and 60% say they have at least a little impact on their decision.

 

Cardholders with outstanding credit card debt are strategic and intentional with their repayments—84% are paying off the balance as quickly as possible.

  • 59% of cardholders say they have an outstanding balance on their credit card(s), averaging $3,233.
  • One-fifth are not making any payments towards the balance(s) (22%) and/or are considering filing for bankruptcy (18%).

 

Tax refunds will most commonly be used to fortify savings (33%) and/or pay off outstanding debts or bills (31%).

Store card ownership has a marked impact on shopping with the brand—51% of store cardholders say their shopping with the merchant has increased since acquiring the card.

  • One-fifth (20%) say they have shopped at the store a lot more since getting their store card.

 

35% of rewards cardholders have transferred rewards to another brand at least once, and one-quarter (24%) have done so multiple times.

Expanding partnerships with brands similar to or different from the card would make over 40% of cardholders use their card more.

  • Supermarkets (85%) and gas stations (84%) are the most appealing purchase categories to be partnered with a credit card.

Survey Methodology

This Auriemma Group study was conducted online within the US by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma Group (Auriemma) in February-March 2023 among 888 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.

 

AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc., the world’s largest movie theatre operator, has partnered with Deserve and Visa to launch the co-branded AMC Entertainment Visa credit card. Co-branding is a well-established strategy that provides a valuable financial service, deepens customer loyalty, and drives incremental brand revenue.  According to Auriemma Group’s most recent Cardbeat® study, more than 50% of branded credit cardholders shop more at the brand as a result of having the card, and nearly 40% of that population shops a lot more at the brand. This trend is more prominent among those aged 18–34 – 76% shop more at a brand with the card. Read more about the AMC Entertainment Visa credit card here.

Survey Methodology

The Auriemma Group study was conducted online in the US in Q1 2023 by an independent field service provider. A total of 888 web interviews were conducted among credit card users. The purpose of the research was not disclosed, nor did respondents know the criteria for qualifying.

(New York, NY) Mobile payments give cardholders the chance to lighten their physical wallet, but those in states like Arizona and Maryland may be able to go without a wallet altogether. In March, Apple announced that Arizona would be the first state to offer its locals the opportunity to digitally store their driver’s license or state ID in the Apple Wallet, and Maryland soon followed. But what impact, if any, will this have on mobile payment usage overall?

Auriemma Group’s latest Mobile Pay Tracker study found that ID provisioning could increase mobile payment usage notably. According to the research, 67% of mobile payment users and 20% of non-users would be interested in adding an ID to their mobile wallet. And nearly half of those interested say having an ID available in their mobile pay wallet would make them use it more. This is particularly striking among non-users, 45% of whom would begin using mobile payments as a result.

“With the addition of IDs, mobile wallets take one step closer to being a physical wallet substitute,” says Jaclyn Holmes, Director of Research at Auriemma Group. “Though we don’t anticipate mobile wallets to fully replace physical ones, this addition will make leaving home without one a greater possibility should your state provide the option.”

However, mobile payments have some work to do if they want to convert naysayers. 62% of those uninterested in adding an ID to their mobile wallet say they don’t like the idea of having all their personal information saved to one device, and 50% don’t think it would be secure. Over half of these cardholders also don’t trust mobile wallets enough to leave their physical ID at home, saying they would still carry it with them anyway.

When looking at those interested in adding their ID to a mobile wallet, however, 69% are comfortable leaving their physical ID behind. This is most prominent among younger cardholders, suggesting that over time comfort may increase.

“Mobile payments already allow consumers to add their payment cards, plane tickets, membership cards, and more,” says Holmes. “Adding IDs is the next logical step and is likely to promote mobile payment usage overall. As issuers consider their relationship to mobile payments, it would be worthwhile for them to envision a future where digital wallets are more commonplace, even if only supplemental to the physical wallet.”

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 July 2022 among 2,182 adult mobile 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.

(New York, NY) Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase recently cautioned that the US and the world would face a recession in the next 6-9 months. And if the UK’s cost-of-living crisis is any indicator, some consumers may soon be pinching pennies to afford everyday expenses. Auriemma Group recently conducted research in both regions and found that 55% of US credit cardholders and a staggering 83% of credit cardholders in the UK say rising costs will have a negative impact on their finances in the next 12 months.

Rising food and fuel costs are already having a significant negative impact on half of US cardholders, and these consumers anticipate costs to swell further over the next year. Looking to the UK, these impacts are even greater, with about nine-in ten (88%) reporting a negative impact from rising food costs and 81% saying the same about fuel.

“We’ve been studying changes to consumer spending and borrowing behavior throughout the cost-of-living crisis in the UK and believe those shifts may be predictive of things to come on our side of the pond,” says Jaclyn Holmes, Director of Research at Auriemma Group. “Navigating these increasing costs comes at a price for many, particularly those with heavier debt loads or fixed incomes.”

According to Auriemma’s research, US cardholders are already acting in response to rising costs. Over the past 6 months 52% curbed non-essential spending, 36% sought out more sale items than usual, and 33% switched to more affordable brands.

While often opaque to cardholders, the economic outlook due to the impacts of inflation, rising interest rates, and Russia’s war with Ukraine may cause these measures to intensify. In the UK, tensions are already hitting a fever-pitch with some activists going as far as flinging tomato soup at a Van Gough painting to draw attention to the impact of fossil fuels, but also rising costs.

“These are very, very serious things which I think are likely to push the U.S. and the world — I mean, Europe is already in recession — and they’re likely to put the U.S. in some kind of recession six to nine months from now,” Dimon said.

US cardholders agree with Dimon. Auriemma’s research found that 80% believe the US will enter a recession within the next 2 years. And this belief is changing attitudes towards spending. Over nine-in-ten of those who think it is ‘very likely’ that the US will enter a recession say they have changed their spending behavior because of rising costs.

“The UK’s cost-of-living crisis has gained media attention for the better part of the year, and the US may not be far behind,” says Holmes. “Dimon’s assertion highlights the delicate state of the economy, and US consumers have already begun to feel the effects. Looking to the UK as an example, US issuers and merchants can expect some notable changes to spending over the next year.”

Survey Methodology

Cardbeat US

This Auriemma Group study was conducted online within the US by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma from August-September 2022, among 80o+ adult credit cardholders. The number of interviews completed 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.

Cardbeat UK

This Auriemma Group study was conducted online within the UK by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma from April-May 2022, among 80o+ adult credit cardholders. The number of interviews completed 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.

(New York, NY) Bitcoin has been around for over a decade but continues to find its footing with consumers less familiar with it. Famously first used to purchase Papa John’s pizza in 2010, the cryptocurrency’s value has grown from $725 in 2015 to over $64,000 as of this writing, creating some investment winners and losers along the way. Auriemma Group’s latest issue of Mobile Pay Tracker investigated consumers’ relationship with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general, uncovering who knows about it, who has it, what they’re using it for, how they’d like to use it in the future, and more.

1. Lack of understanding prevents cryptocurrency ubiquity.

Cryptocurrency has captured mainstream attention since its launch, but few consumers truly understand how it works—74% say they are a cryptocurrency novice. While some may be able to speak about it generally, its unlikely your average cryptocurrency holder is explaining the blockchain to their friends. Overall, though, nearly everyone (96%) has at least heard of cryptocurrency, highlighting just how culturally significant it has become during its relatively short tenure.

“As a payments ecosystem, cryptocurrency will need to become more widely understood for it to truly flourish,” says Jaclyn Holmes, Director of Research at Auriemma Group. “But low levels of understanding may be enough for a casual investment, even if the currency is far from becoming the decentralized alternative to cash.”

2. About one-in-six consumers currently own a cryptocurrency.

Age plays a notable role in cryptocurrency ownership, with some Gen X and Baby Boomer consumers likely hesitant to use it as an investment vehicle due to its volatility. With more time to absorb the ebbs and flows of the market and more openness to emerging payment types, Gen Z and Millennial cardholders are more likely to hold cryptocurrency (25%-30%).

“Not only do younger cardholders have the advantage of time when it comes to cryptocurrency investing,” says Holmes. “The group is also generally more open to novel technologies and approaches in the payments space. We’ve seen it with mobile payments, P2P payments, contactless technology, and more.”

Still, without high levels of understanding, 57% of those who own cryptocurrency say it comprises less than one-quarter of their overall savings/investment portfolio. Though thousands of cryptocurrencies are in circulation, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum are the most owned among consumers (7-11%).

3. Those with cryptocurrency want more.

Looking ahead, one-quarter of consumers are interested in buying or receiving cryptocurrency in the next 12 months. This figure increases to 81% among those who currently hold cryptocurrency. Even those who used to hold cryptocurrency show increased interest (49%), which exemplifies the largely positive experience those who have ever held it have had with the product.

“While traditionally bought and sold proactively, we’ve noticed passive opportunities for cryptocurrency acquisition sprouting up across the payments space. Venmo, for example, now allows its users to redeem their funds for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash,” says Holmes. “It wouldn’t be surprising if it became a common redemption option for credit card rewards programs.”

In fact, cryptocurrency as a cash back reward is of interest to one-third of consumers, while those who currently hold cryptocurrency are even more interested (75%). That isn’t to say cryptocurrency rewards will become table stakes, but they could certainly become a program sweetener, particularly for younger cardholders looking for a low-risk way to participate in the space.

4. It’s considered a long-term investment, not liquid funds.

Though cryptocurrency can sometimes appear to be a get-rich-quick scheme, the reality is that those who hold it broadly think of it as a long-term (38%), not a short-term (13%) investment. Still, knowledge remains key. Losing the errant dollar to a defunct cryptocurrency may not change one’s financial future, but an overzealous investor could lose a lot of money quickly, like this Shanghai investor who purchased Squid Game crypto.

“Some consumers simply play around with cryptocurrency to see what happens, but this could become a high-risk endeavor for those offering up their life savings,” says Holmes. “Issuers can play in this space by offering their cardholders the opportunity to buy into cryptocurrency without such a large price tag—using rewards points to purchase smaller portions of trusted cryptocurrency providers.”

Without the infrastructure to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment at the point-of-sale, it will largely be seen as an investment product. Few (14%) see cryptocurrency as liquid funds for purchases, but if presented with the option to use theirs for a purchase at the point-of-sale, about half are likely.

Why should banks care about cryptocurrency?

While cryptocurrency is still relatively new and transaction volume remains low for the industry, it is undoubtedly a growing space. Those looking to play in the space will need to remain conscious of evolving regulation to ensure compliance needs are met. Still, banks and issuers can act as a refuge for consumers looking to dip their toe in without the exposure that comes with committing their hard-earned dollars to the investment. Providing cardholders the option to earn or redeem their account rewards as cryptocurrency allows them to passively participate in the space in a way that feels lower-risk, particularly for those new and just looking to play around.

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 July 2021 among 2,003 adult mobile 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 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 Jaclyn Holmes at (+1) 646-454-4200.

(New York, NY) Buy Now, Pay Later plans have reinvigorated the centuries old installment payment concept, now allowing shoppers to split payments for small and large purchases alike, particularly online. Auriemma Group has been researching this space in their Payments Report study since 2018, as new providers entered the space, rolling out their own unique spin on the offering.

Buy Now, Pay Later has gained wide visibility in recent years thanks to celebrity and influencer led marketing campaigns. Providers such as American Express and Klarna enlisted everyone from Tina Fey and Snoop Dogg to more niche personalities like Celeste Barber and Trixie Mattel in expansive ad campaigns. Since this advertising push, other bank-branded solutions (like Citi Flex Plan and My Chase Plan), and offerings from FinTechs such as Affirm, PayPal, QuadPay, Afterpay, and Sezzle have entered and redefined the space.

The widening provider field has created increased awareness, opportunity, and exposure for these products. Between Q1-2019 and Q1-2021, Auriemma’s research shows a 10+ percentage point increase in debit cardholders offered a Buy Now, Pay Later plan in-store or online. And most of these consumers find the plans attractive.

“It has become common for shoppers to see a Buy Now, Pay Later option at checkout,” says Jaclyn Holmes, Director of Research at Auriemma Group. “Online, these buttons become subtle reminders for consumers, and reinforce them as a viable payment option, especially when offered at checkout for a brand they trust.”

Take rates on Buy Now, Pay Later also increased significantly over the last couple years. More than half of those offered Buy Now, Pay Later in a physical store (56%) or online (51%) say they enrolled in the option, again representing 10+ percentage point increases since Q1-2019. These increases parallel the expanding field of options available to shoppers at the point of sale.

While merchants have traditionally been the most common provider of installment plans at the point-of-sale, more recent data from Auriemma Group shows that the FinTech Buy Now, Pay Later providers offering these short-term solutions are closing the gap. However, merchants will continue to play an integral role in the adoption of these providers – over half of debit cardholders agree that being partnered with well-known or trusted retailers is paramount when it comes to feeling comfortable and secure in using the product.

“While merchant trust is playing an influential role in Buy Now, Pay Later adoption, these offerings are also impacting the merchant’s ticket size and shoppers’ likelihood to purchase with a merchant again,” says Holmes. “This shows that a positive Buy Now, Pay Later experience can create a halo effect for the brands offering them. And with Buy Now, Pay Later becoming increasingly common and recognizable, consumers may come to expect it as a payment option rather than a sweetener.”

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 2021 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. The average interview length was 19 minutes.

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 Jaclyn Holmes at (+1) 646-454-4200.

Online Shopping Promotes Increased Debit and Credit Use, but Spend Remains Down Overall
March 10, 2021

COVID-19 has continued to have an impact on consumer spend and payment methods, albeit to a lesser extent than during the first lockdown. While spending has generally decreased overall, there are a small proportion of cardholders who have increased debit and credit usage in the past 30 days as online shopping became more prevalent. Cash usage continues to show the greatest reductions, though a bit less extreme than W2-20, likely due to channel changes and hygiene concerns.

Auriemma’s data reflects reporting in UK Finance’s latest Card Spending Update, which also shows that those spending less on cards are doing so because they are spending less in general, while those spending more have increased their online shopping.

Cardholders Are Willing to Delay Rewards Redemption for Increased Value
March 3, 2021

Issuers of T&E cards may need to refresh their value proposition to keep cardholders engaged with their card as the travel industry continues to be impacted by COVID-19. According to Auriemma’s latest research, credit cardholders are willing to wait longer to redeem their rewards if doing so would increase their point’s value. This is especially true of T&E cardholders who can redeem them for high values and may not have had the opportunity to do so in recent months.

Instalment Plan Interest Drops During Pandemic (UK)
October 2, 2020

Though there continues to be notable interest in monthly instalment plans, Auriemma’s research saw a 16 percentage point drop between W1-20 and W2-20, likely due to uncertainty around cardholder’s financial future.

With COVID-19 still threatening some cardholder’s future earning potential, many may be hesitant to commit to ongoing payments.

Cardholders Cite High Take Rates for Low or No APR Offers during the Pandemic
September 14, 2020

Though only about one-quarter of credit cardholders say they were offered 0% APR on new purchases (24%) and/or reduced APR on new purchases (22%) during the last 3 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the observed take rates were high.

About half of those offered accepted, and many used their card more as a result—77% who accepted the 0% offer, and 66% who accepted the reduced APR offer, said they used the card more than typical after receiving the offer.

Cash Usage Drops Amid Hygiene Concerns
September 9, 2020

Cardholders Still Intend to Travel in 2020
September 4, 2020

Digital Servicing Options Going Strong During Pandemic
August 25, 2020

These Businesses May Struggle Upon Reopening—Consumers Aren’t Returning Anytime Soon
August 13, 2020

High-traffic, high-density businesses will likely struggle as business start to reopen following COVID-19 closures. Nearly half of cardholder don’t see themselves going to gyms, bars, or sporting events in the near future, and many of those who frequented various businesses prior to COVID-19 say they expect to go to those businesses less once they reopen.

Consumers Expect COVID-19 to Create a New Normal
August 11, 2020

According to Auriemma’s in-depth interviews with consumers, many anticipate a long road ahead before things return to normal, if ever.

Likelihood to Enroll in Installment Plans Increases for Some Due to COVID-19
August 7, 2020

Over one-quarter say COVID-19 has made them more likely to enroll in an installment plan and more cardholders are taking advantage of these options, particularly in-store (compared to Q4-19).

Spike in Contactless Payments Attributable to Physical Cards
August 4, 2020

Cardholders Respond Positively to Payment Accommodation Offers
July 30, 2020

Issuers have done a number of things over the course of 2020 to help cardholders through these uncertain times. About two-in-five cardholders say they were offered at least 1 of 5 tested payment accommodation in the past 6 months. And the take rate among those offered is high—most accepted the payment accommodation they were offered.

Brand Selections Flex Beyond Typical in Response to COVID-19 
July 16, 2020

According to Auriemma’s in-depth interviews with consumers, many have used different merchants, brands, and purchase channels than typical because of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Shortages Present Opportunities for New Brand and Merchant Loyalty 
July 14, 2020

COVID-19 has not only changed how consumers shop, but also where they shop. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of cardholders say they have become more willing to try new ways to shop. And 40% of recent online shoppers have tried shopping with new merchants since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Many cardholders said stores they regularly shop at were out of many items, that they needed to switch from their preferred brand to purchase an item they needed, and that they have visited stores they don’t normally shop at to find what they need.

Online Shopping Increases and Channel Preferences Shift Because of COVID-19
July 9, 2020

62% of cardholders are shopping online more than usual due to COVID-19, with some buying cleaning supplies, toiletries, and groceries for the first time via the channel as a result.

And although consumers have historically preferred in-store shopping for groceries (and most still do), a notable 31% say they prefer using digital channels (i.e., websites, mobile apps) to make grocery purchases.

UK Credit Card Issuers Are Waiving Missed Payment Fees for Most
June 10, 2020

64% of those charged a missed payment fee on their credit card had the fee waived. Few (8%) report missing credit card payments because of COVID-19, but these figures increase dramatically when looking at revolvers (16%) and sub-prime/near prime cardholders (23%).

Struggling Cardholders Struggle More Because of COVID-19
June 5, 2020

Sub-prime cardholders are more likely to report high levels of concern about their personal finances, and reasonably so. These individuals are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic—notably higher proportions are missing credit card, bill, or loan payments as a result.

Younger Cardholders Embrace Innovative Payments Due to COVID-19
June 1, 2020
May 29, 2020
Compared to their older counterparts, Gen Z and Millennials made more behavioral changes as a result of COVID-19. These younger credit cardholders are more likely to have:
  • Used less cash over the last 3 months
  • Used online options, contactless, and P2P instead of cash
  • Stocked up on food
  • Ordered more delivery than usual
  • Placed more online orders than usual
  • Ordered items online they would normally buy in-store
SOURCE: Auriemma Group / Cardbeat US / Q1-2020

 

(New York, NY) Second look products provide credit card applicants the opportunity to acquire a card more aligned with their financial standing, often without having to undergo another full application process.  Auriemma Group’s latest issues of Cardbeat US® and The Payments Report uncovered how likely applicants are to take these secondary offers, and how interested they would be in programs that give them suggestions on how to improve their application before reapplying.

Less than one-fifth (16%) of credit cardholders report being offered a different card than they applied for after being declined. However, the take rate for these offers is very high, with 69% of those offered accepting the second look option.

“This high acceptance rate for secondary credit products highlights the need for credit by below prime customer segments,” says Carrie Luciano, Manager of Partnerships at Auriemma Group. “Many are willing to accept an alternative credit product if they were referred by the card they initially applied for.”

Auriemma’s research also found that while familiarity was an important factor when accepting second look card offers, those who have had an application rejected in the past year may be more open to a lesser-known provider. About half of credit cardholders (48%) believe a lesser-known issuer would offer a more attractive product than a known issuer—this figure increases to 72% when looking at those who have been rejected.

“For merchants, offering an alternative second look credit product provides a means to boost topline sales and improves the otherwise negative customer experience of being declined—by facilitating credit for those who need it,” says Luciano. “Second look programs also have an ancillary benefit of acting as a credit building tool for applicants who often get rejected.”

While second look programs provide applicants with alternative offers, there is appetite for programs that help consumers improve the approval odds and reapply. The Path to Apple Card program provides this opportunity to applicants Goldman Sachs believes could meet the application requirements if the program is completed. Once the program is successfully completed, applicants are invited to reapply for the Apple Card.

Auriemma’s research found that 48% of cardholders would be interested in enrolling in a program that would help them improve their application if it led to them being reconsidered for that card after a 6-month period. Interest in such a program was driven by those with FICO scores below 670 and revolvers.

“Credit help programs, like the Path to Apple Card program, offer a way to keep applicants engaged with their desired card product, even if their application initially falls below par,” says Luciano. “While second look offers solve for an immediate credit need, credit help programs could be attractive to those willing to wait.”

Second look and credit help program offerings are on the path to ubiquity—with elements that satisfy consumer need and create opportunities for issuer engagement. Providing them as a secondary option circumvents the potentially negative rejection experience and allows applicants another opportunity to access credit, either with a new provider or with their primary option following some application improvements.

With over 30 years of experience crafting profitable, long-lasting partnerships in the Cards and Payments industry, Auriemma and a history covering second look programs, Auriemma is well suited to assist with your partnership or research needs in this area. Contact Auriemma at (+1) 646-454-4200 to learn more.

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 September 2020 among 813 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. The average interview length was 17 minutes.

The Payments Report

This Auriemma Group study was conducted online within the US by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma in September 2020, among 821 adult debit 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. The average interview length was 26 minutes.

About Auriemma Group

For more than 30 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 Jaclyn Holmes (Research) or Carrie Luciano (Partnerships) at (+1) 646-454-4200.

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