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Insight Report: Best Practices for Credit Cards for Mass Affluent Consumers

Card issuers targeting mass affluent customers have increased their focus on issuing credit cards with travel benefits


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2014-08-21 00:20:01 - Insight Report: Best Practices for Credit Cards for Mass Affluent Consumers - a new market research report on companiesandmarkets.com

Banks and other card issuers are increasingly focusing on credit cards designed to target mass affluent consumers. Even though mass affluent consumers represent a relatively small percentage of their total customer base, the revenue generated from them is high – mainly due to their deeper banking relationships that involve deposit accounts, mortgages, investment, and asset and wealth management, among others.

Mass affluent consumers spend more while shopping, traveling and purchasing services than mass market consumers. Moreover, the spending patterns of mass affluent consumers are generally less impacted during economically difficult times. Mass affluent customers are also traveling more than ever, and forecasts for outbound trips indicate that this trend will continue over the next five years in key economies. Consequently,

 

 

both issuers and card schemes are partnering with airlines, hotels and resorts, and luxury brands to offer enhanced benefits on credit cards. Mass affluent customers are often offered lounge access at airports, free and discounted air tickets, preferential treatment at hotels and resorts, free valet parking, discounted limousine services, and insurance cover that ranges from travel accident to lost and delayed baggage, to trip cancellation. Card issuers and schemes also frequently offer roadside assistance, emergency legal and medical referrals, cash help in cases of loss or theft, and emergency card replacement services.

Capitalizing on private banking and wealth management relationship, the use of mass affluent brands such as Visa Infinite, and issues of ´black´ card editions are general strategies for card issuers, key markets such as South Korea and Brazil also have their own segmentation strategies. Issuers in South Korea use alphabets and numbers to distinguish their card offerings, while the use of other colors such as purple and red, which reflect royalty and wealth, have also gained attention. Issuers in Brazil often focus on sports events and limited-edition cards, and some segment their card offerings based on monthly income. In Russia, preset credit limits are a key segmentation strategy.

Consumers are moving away from conspicuous consumption to more considered consumption, and access to special or unique experiences through their card has gained importance. In this altered environment, banks and other card issuers are adopting various strategies to decrease operating costs and increase revenue potential.

Banks and other card issuers are increasingly focusing on credit cards designed to target mass affluent consumers driven by the relatively high profitability offered by this segment. At times, banks may run the cards at a loss, but benefit from the rest of their relationships with mass affluent clients through deposits, investments, savings, mortgages, and asset and wealth management, among others.

The rising commoditization of benefits and the devaluation of the prestige and status associated with cards emerged as a risk for issuers, as it necessitates additional effort to attract and retain clients. To overcome this, organizations are investing in new branding strategies and product features, despite falling profit margins.

Card issuers targeting mass affluent customers have increased their focus on issuing credit cards with travel benefits. Many issuers across the world, including Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, HSBC, Commonwealth Bank, Lloyds, Capital One, Hyundai Cards, Samsung Cards and Amex, among others, issue premium cards which specifically focus on travel-related services.

Banks and other card issuers are expanding their operations on social networks through partnerships with merchants such as retailers, restaurants, leisure centers and travel operators. The partnerships provide opportunities to engage customers through additional content, offers and discounts. These expansionary moves are driven by a desire to improve consumer offerings and increase revenues.

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