Card Issuer Tactics for Boosting Second Card in Wallet Use and Giving Cardholders What They Want Now

• Author: , Group Director

marketing tactics for card issuers

As fans of Auriemma Group, we took note of recent research published in the company’s Cardbeat US related to card usage and cardholder communications. These insights can inform key marketing tactics for card issuers right now.

Boost second card in wallet use
If there is a universal challenge that Media Logic has strategized about over the decades, it is how to move a credit card to “top of wallet” position. Is it even possible, and which strategy and tactics actually work?

Auriemma validates that an issuer can shift card spend through a fairly easy-to-execute promotion with high appeal and a limited promotion window. In fact, 63% of cardholders surveyed indicated they would use secondary credit cards more given this specific promotion.

The research validates “short doubled rewards promos boost usage in lesser used cards.” Specifically, double cash back or double points, depending upon card value proposition, for a three-month window is effective in achieving this portfolio challenge. That’s good news as card promotions can get overly “designed” when the simplest of promotions directly tied to the card’s existing value proposition is most appealing.

Here are additional Auriemma findings1 about short doubled rewards promotions.

  • Among the 63% who indicated the promo would increase use of secondary cards, 18% indicated they would use their secondary card “a lot more,” and 47% indicated they would use secondary cards “a little more.” That may be all that is needed to jump start use beyond the promotion.
  • When targeting this type of promotion, keep in mind the concept has high appeal to those with a child present in HH (74%).
  • Those that pay a fee are likely to respond to the promotion (70%).
  • Urban cardholders are also highly receptive to this type of promotion (70%).
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What cardholders want now
We’ve shared our thoughts on communications during the pandemic, and we found this brief list based on an Auriemma survey2 conducted in March/April 2020 to be a good reminder of the topics and measures issuers/banks can take to build consumer confidence.

  1. Ease payment burden by lowering/eliminating fees, extending grace periods or lowering rates.
  2. Recommend new and existing customer service resources, such as updated FAQs, new channels (especially if they reduce wait time) and self-service options. Media Logic underscores the necessity to not only promote but also educate cardholders on these resources. For example, use dedicated single-topic email communications linking to resources. Develop “explainer” videos, which need not be a heavy investment as marketing partners, like Media Logic, have experience across a menu of digital design and execution options to create informative and engaging videos to meet a variety of budgets.
  3. Promote beneficial payment options like contactless and mobile payment. We champion contactless payments as experienced marketers of digital payment options. In fact, I recently published Media Logic’s best practices for marketing contactless during COVID-19, and I invite you to view this short video as you look to fulfill on this insight from Auriemma. Also, be sure to make cardholders aware when transactions earn rewards and to promote any available merchant discounts and partnerships.
  4. Remind cardholders of the “control” they have through merchant disputes and refunds. Education is critical as to when and “how to” deploy these controls.

Thoughtful and consistent communication is what cardholders need now. They don’t need any additional concerns from the brands they rely upon now more than ever.

1 Auriemma Group, Cardbeat US, Q1-2020
2 Source:  Auriemma Group, May 19, 2020

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