A new service from FICO will offer credit card issuing credit unions greater and faster flexibility in their card offering and marketing decisions, the firm said.
The company that provides the nation's most frequently used consumer credit score, dubbed the new service the “FICO Bankcard Growth Solution” and said it would help card issuers react more quickly to feedback from card marketing programs, often when the programs are still ongoing.
Using the FICO Bankcard Growth Solution, a bank or credit union's acquisition and originations teams can determine early in the process if a campaign is attracting the intended customers.
With this knowledge, card issuers can then adjust strategies, change offers and incentives, test through simulation and update messaging in rapid fashion while a campaign is still underway, the firm said.
In addition, they can use built-in FICO analytics to pinpoint each consumer’s risk, weigh the impact of potential economic shifts into that risk measure and assess a consumer’s capacity to safely handle additional debt.
“Lenders around the world are aggressively competing to capture the most profitable consumer segments, yet the majority of lenders utilize new customer acquisition solutions that are deficient and often obsolete,” said Dennis Moroney, research director, retail banking and cards for TowerGroup. “The banks that will succeed will rely on technologies that monitor ongoing new customer behavior, beginning with the first purchase, to drive decisions on future applicants.”
FICO's Senior Director of Analytics Eric Wells explained the new program as both a way to more sharply define success in card issuing and build in advantages in speed and efficiency.
Unlike the traditional approach to card marketing, in which a bank or credit union would define card marketing success as the numbers or percentages of card offers that generated an application or other response, the new program allows card issuers to more tightly and individually define success.
“The marketing side of a card team is focused on response, that's their analytic, how many people who got the card offer responded somehow to let them know of their interest,” Wells explained. “That's success. But that information doesn't do you much good if the cardholder has gotten your card to be their emergency card and just put it in the back of their wallet or if they never activate it. Bankcard Growth Solution lets the credit union or bank define success by the behavior it really wants to see the cardholder take.”
The difference is key, Wells explained, because the changed definition allows a card issuer to both get better and faster feedback about how the promotion is going in time to tinker with it to get the result wanted.
For example, if the card issuer defines success for one part of a card promotion as having a certain percentage of cardholders activate their new cards by a certain date and not enough have done so, the card issuer can decide to use another sort of communication or incentive to achieve that result, Wells said.
“It's the end of one size fits all marketing,” Wells said, “as well as a way for both community banks and credit unions to leverage their additional knowledge and relationship with their customers or members, one of their traditional strengths.” And just because the firm is aiming the new service at card issuing first, Wells pointed out, that doesn't mean it will not also work well marketing other loans.
Wells noted that the new approach resembles that taken by the airlines in the way they have changed how they sell seats. It used to be that an airline would market all the seats on a flight from one city to the next at a given time at one price, Wells observed.
But now airlines recognize that different consumers may have different price points and different interests in a given seat on that flight, and they can use this information to help better price and sell those seats.