Tag Archive for: credit card
While major credit card issuers have offered the option to redeem rewards points as donations for years, some merchants are just now integrating this ability into their loyalty program.
June 18, 2020
Cardholders were asked to evaluate the truth of various statements about instalment plans, and their impact on one’s credit score. In fact, the highest levels of uncertainty were with instalment plan APRs—most UK credit cardholders don’t know how they function with instalment plan products.
June 16, 2020
Those who have enrolled in an instalment plan tend to have enrolled in more than one, and often are managing multiple payment plans at any given time. Players wishing to expand their reach and footprint within the instalment lending space may see a high take rate among existing instalment users, compared to brand new customers.
June 12, 2020
In 2018, millions of consumers had their personal data compromised by breaches across a diverse set of industries—from tech to retail to hospitality and more—putting many at risk of payment card fraud. Most consumers are aware of their data’s exposure, but 91% believe their credit card issuer will cover them in the event of fraud. But this confidence causes some consumers to put themselves in harm’s way, according to Auriemma Research’s most recent issue of The Payments Report.
Fraud events have become mainstream, leading many consumers to feel numb to its consequences. According to Auriemma Roundtable’s Q4-2018 Card Fraud Benchmark Report, seven-in-ten financial institutions saw an increase in gross credit card fraud compared to the prior quarter; a similar number of issuers are forecasting gross fraud will stay the same or increase in 2019. Meanwhile, nine-in-ten consumers believe fraud has stayed the same or increased over the past year, according to Auriemma Research data.
“Many consumers have accepted fraud as a fact of life,” says Jaclyn Holmes, Director of Auriemma Research. “They know fraud happens, many are concerned it will happen to them, but they’re also confident that their issuers will take care of them.”
When asking consumers about how credit card issuers respond to fraud, Auriemma Research found over eight-in-ten say issuers react quickly and are good at monitoring. Even the one-fifth who say they’ve experienced card fraud in the past year share these positive sentiments. While a noteworthy 22% of these consumers say the experience has caused them to spend less on the impacted card, 15% spend more, and 63% don’t change their spending at all. In general, fraud events don’t appear to leave a lasting stain on payment behavior with the compromised card.
“In the court of public opinion, banks don’t appear to be to blame for fraud,” says Holmes. “But as fraud remains high industry-wide, issuers are now tasked with finding ways to further engage their customers in the fight, namely by reducing risky payment behavior and signing up for proactive protections.”
Consumers, however, are not demonstrably concerned with proactive, preventative measures. Over one-quarter of cardholders are comfortable making online purchases from unfamiliar websites, likely a direct result of the confidence consumers have in banks’ protective measures. In addition, over four-in-ten cardholders say they haven’t changed the password for their debit or credit card account in over a year. Other precautions, like fraud alerts, identity theft protection, and two-factor authentication are not overwhelming used by consumers.
“While issuers try to arm their customers with tools to defend against the impact of fraud, many aren’t taking advantage,” says Holmes. “Consumer complacency could be a challenge in 2019 and beyond, and if issuers aren’t able to enlist their cardholder’s support against fraudsters, we may see losses grow.”
This Auriemma Research study was conducted online within the US by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma Consulting Group among 800 US adult debit cardholders in March 2018. 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 25 minutes. For more information, call Jaclyn Holmes at (212) 323-7000.
About Auriemma Fraud Control Roundtables
Auriemma runs a series of information sharing and benchmarking groups for executives in fraud strategy and operations. Spanning credit card, debit card, and consumer banking, Auriemma’s fraud control roundtables combine executive meetings, industry-leading operational benchmarking, and peer group surveys to help participants identify vulnerabilities and optimize fraud management strategies. For information on membership, contact Ira Goldman at 212-323-7000.
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, visit us at www.auriemma.group.
(New York, NY): Credit cardholders can be divided into two groups based on their payment behavior—revolvers and transactors. And while this distinction often identifies key differences between those who carry a balance and those who do not, revolvers are not all created equal. Recent research conducted by Auriemma Group compared on-time revolvers (i.e., those who carry a balance but haven’t missed a payment in the last 12 months) to late payment revolvers (i.e., those who skipped/missed a payment on at least one card in the past 12 months) with the aim of understanding the demographic factors that differentiate the groups from one another. In comparing the two groups, the research found that late payment revolvers are a serious retention risk, and that their card experience will need to be deeper than just paying off an outstanding debt to prevent them from cancelling their card.
Revolvers represent 56% of the credit cardholder population, with 38% qualifying as on-time revolvers and 18% as late payment revolvers. Late payment revolvers tend to be younger (34 vs. 46 average age), more highly educated (70% vs. 57% college degree or more) and employed (86% vs. 66%) when compared to their on-time revolving counterparts.
While those demographics would be a welcome addition to an issuer’s portfolio, these customers don’t tend to be especially loyal to specific cards. Most have cancelled (52% vs. 6% on-time revolvers) and/or acquired (55% vs. 14%) a new card within the past year. These customers also tend to have competing financial responsibilities—72% are parents of a minor (vs. 34%), 50% hold a mortgage (vs. 42%), and 36% hold a student loan (vs. 22%).
Because of these competing priorities, this group is motivated to consolidate outstanding balances they have on their cards—creating the opportunity to acquire these customers.
“To better manage their credit card debts, half of late payment revolvers have taken a balance transfer,” said Jaclyn Holmes, Director of Auriemma’s Payment Insights practice. “This is in comparison to just 9% of on-time revolvers, which showcases one way to get these customers into your portfolio.”
While there is ample opportunity to convert late payment revolvers to new customers via balance transfers, the real challenge is keeping them engaged with the product. Late payment revolvers have more inactive cards in their wallet—only 43% have used all their cards (compared to 58% of on-time revolvers), demonstrating a consolidation of spend. And while an attractive balance transfer offer could entice late payment revolvers to acquire a new card, the likelihood of abandonment is high, with more than half of this population cancelling a card in the last 12 months.
Issuers must also contend with the group’s general sentiments toward credit cards as a product. Most (52%) prefer debit over credit. They also tend to have lower average FICO scores than their older on-time revolving counterparts (570 vs. 720), partly due to having limited credit histories. The group also has lower credit lines and lower average outstanding balances ($2,640 vs. $4,446).
“We know from previous research that cardholders’ top reasons for cancelling a card are paying off the balance or getting a new card,” says Holmes. “It is critical for issuers to entice cardholders to want to spend with their cards and not just chip away at an outstanding debt, especially as the balance gets closer to zero. For late payment revolvers to become loyal to a product or brand, they must first develop a more positive relationship with credit generally. Offering incentives to these cardholders that encourage spend and develop loyalty will be the best chance issuers have at retaining the customer.”
This study was conducted online within the US by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma Consulting Group among 800 US adult credit cardholders in March 2018. 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 25 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, Jaclyn Holmes at (212) 323-7000.
(London): UK cardholders have 1.77 credit cards in their wallet on average, and while some may assume consumers aren’t in the market for a new card, the majority are actually open to new card offers. But consumers aren’t settling for just any card, and to earn their business, issuers need to be smart about their products’ value propositions and how they’re marketed. In the densely populated field of credit card options, how can issuers stand apart from the pack? Offering the best rewards is a good start, according to new data from Auriemma Group. But consumers want more. Here are some of the more compelling ways issuers can increase their chances of getting into consumers’ wallets.
- Offer attractive rewards.
No matter the category, rewards continue to push consumers over the tipping point when making acquisition decisions. When faced with the long list of elite options, the 66% of respondents interested in acquiring another rewards card most frequently cited the richness of rewards as the chief factor for their selection. But just offering rewards isn’t enough.
- Highlight your card’s exclusivity and prestige.
When some consumers select a card, they do so because the card embodies a particular lifestyle. Aspirational or otherwise, cards perceived as prestigious (28%) and those with the best benefits (21%) (e.g., exclusive events, lounge access) are highly coveted by those looking for a new card. This group seeks cards that tout platinum or titanium status, viewing them as having the most enticing benefits.
- Maintain a well-known and respected public image.
Card selection is also heavily impacted by the familiarity with and reputation of your brand. Among those surveyed, approximately three-quarters (73%) indicated they would be unlikely to take a card from a brand they are unfamiliar with. Consumers over 55 years old were even more likely to say this (83% vs. 67% under 55). Likewise, 74% reported a brand’s reputation (positive or negative) would impact their decision, a factor even more important for cardholders under 55 (79% vs. 65% of 55+). And 21% of current cardholders in the market for a new card say they would base their decision on their personal affinity for the brand associated with it.
- If you’re UK-based, tell people!
Consumers see real value in products from issuers who have a distinct presence in the UK: 73% of cardholders said it was important for their card issuer to be headquartered in the UK. In fact, if rewards and rates were equal, 77% of cardholders with a preference would prefer their issuer have a national presence (vs. 23% global). UK-based issuers that are not calling attention to their geographical connection to cardholders are missing an opportunity to increase their wallet share and acquire new customers.
“Issuers who can effectively communicate these four attributes stand the best chance of acquiring new customers,” says Jaclyn Holmes, Director of Payment Insights at Auriemma. “The challenge will be in striking the proper balance and ensuring your message is targeting the correct consumers.”
This study was conducted online within the UK by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma in June 2017, among 500 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 Consulting Group
Auriemma is a boutique management consulting firm with specialised focus on the Payments and Lending space. We deliver actionable solutions and insights that add value to our clients’ business activities across a broad set of industry topics and disciplines. Founded in 1984, Auriemma has grown from a one-man shop to a nearly 50-person firm with offices in London and New York. For more information, contact Jaclyn Holmes at 020 7629 0075.
(New York, NY): It’s been quite a while since the U.S. credit card industry has had to worry about profitability. Nearly a decade of close-to-zero funding cost and below-trend losses were the perfect mix for very healthy margins, even after increasing both consumer rewards and co-brand partner compensation. But lately, new data is emerging that suggests the good times may be waning.
From 2012 to 2016, US credit card issuers experienced a gradual erosion of profitability. Net income as a percentage of average assets fell from a high of 6.6% to 2.7%, according to the FDIC. In this context, the results of the 2017 stress tests, in which credit card assets represented the largest potential credit risk for the large bank holding companies, seems more understandable.
While a net return on assets (ROA) of close to 3% is still a healthy profit margin by banking standards, the downward trend is unmistakable. (It’s particularly noteworthy that this erosion was concurrent with historically low interest rates.) And there are new risks to profitability: data from Auriemma’s Industry Roundtables indicate that the top 11 U.S. card issuers’ average quarterly loss rate increased 13.4% between the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, signaling that the increasing credit loss trend has not yet abated.
While these trends are gathering force, it’s important to note that the credit card industry has seen difficult times before and has always been able to adjust and rebound. Here is a potential roadmap for this situation.
The first step for all players, regardless of size, is to conduct a deep-dive portfolio review. By identifying which segments are most vulnerable to deterioration, an issuer can more closely tailor possible solutions. Ideally, the segmentation should be more than just a FICO or risk segmentation and would include profitability metrics as well. While the CARD Act has essentially eliminated the ability to re-price for credit migration, calculating profitability for each FICO band (or other risk metric) is still a critical step in evaluating the portfolio. This analysis can be optimized with segmentation by either origination vintage or by origination campaign. Of particular importance: vintage analysis for any change-in-terms (CIT) portfolio actions. Establishing the link between underwriting changes and credit outcomes is critical to an honest assessment.
After the portfolio review, there are many possible paths to follow. Here are a few strategies for issuers to consider.
Take no action. If the portfolio review suggests that the credit trend is anomalous or is likely to revert to a better level, then taking no action and continuing to monitor the portfolio may be the best course. One month does not a trend make.
Be the counter-puncher – and aim for growth. Being aggressive when others play a conservative hand is a time-honored, but high-risk way to grow. (Warren Buffett famously said, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”) Some issuers will see the market deterioration as an opportunity to gain market share as more conservative issuers pull back. This approach is not for the faint of heart, and the challenges it presents are obvious. But for a highly capitalized, sophisticated, credit-savvy issuer this can be a tremendous opportunity.
Change underwriting standards. For an issuer that has seen some portfolio deterioration but is not expecting a default tsunami, reducing credit exposure on newly originated accounts with tightened underwriting may be all that is needed. In addition to modifying credit selection and market solicitation criteria, issuers will also want to revisit line assignments (both for the existing portfolio as well as for the new accounts), collection entrance parameters, servicing and collection strategies among other operating levers.
Conduct a portfolio segment sale. One possible outcome of the portfolio analysis, depending on the issuer’s outlook, may be to sell a segment of the portfolio which effectively transfers a disproportionate share of the total portfolio credit risk. While this type of pruning is not always possible, the current market appetite for consumer credit risk makes this a feasible strategy. (A recent example is Barclaycard US’ reported sale of $1.6 billion worth of subprime credit card receivables to the Credit Shop this year.)
These are just a few of the possible avenues to explore in the current environment. Auriemma has a deep institutional memory about prior challenges and the creative ways in which successful issuers responded.
Ultimately, the strategy selected may be less important than the quality of the portfolio review; a strategy premised on a superficial analysis may be more dependent upon luck than execution. If, after a thorough portfolio review, an institution concludes that no change is needed, that may be a viable choice made with eyes wide open. Heading into a challenging credit environment, however, it’s safe to say that inertia without analysis is hardly a wise choice.
About Auriemma Group
Auriemma is a boutique management consulting firm with specialized focus on the Payments and Lending space. We deliver actionable solutions and insights that add value to our clients’ business activities across a broad set of industry topics and disciplines. For more information, contact John Costa at 212-323-7000.