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.