Understanding Your ATM, Debit or Credit Card Portfolios


Managing and understanding your cards portfolio is critical to success. It will help keep your financial institution top of mind every time a member pulls your card out of their wallet, but also when they’re shopping for that next car or home. In turn, it will drive revenue, increasing your bottom line.

Understanding your existing portfolio and account acquisition

One of the easiest ways to increase credit card transactions is determining who isn’t using their cards and marketing to them. You’ll also want to get a grasp on average transaction amount per card and how the transactions impact your interchange revenue. When are members using their cards the most? Understanding your peaks and valleys of when your transaction counts are high and low can give you a better idea of when to focus your marketing efforts on cards.

Take time to review limits for your credit card portfolio. Use other data (i.e., credit score, delinquency information, how long the accounts have been open, etc.) to evaluate which members are eligible for a limit increase.

How many BINs do you use? Can they be consolidated to help decrease expenses?

Understanding your members’ trends

Understanding member trends will help you determine what offerings to provide to members. Where are your members shopping? By knowing what merchants are frequented the most, you can tailor marketing and promotions to target those merchants. How easy do you make it for members to apply for a card or credit card loans? Are members using their cards as signature or PIN? Are you educating them on how best to use their cards? While the next steps may not appear obvious, having a stronger grasp of your portfolio and members will give you the background you need to drive the strategy forward.

When you understand the portfolio, what’s next?

Once you understand your members trends and your program, you can then offer some benefits to your members, such as:

Offer a cash back program or reward point program
Offering one of these programs will entice your members to use your cards instead of others in their wallet.

Offer a relationship pricing
This will allow you to provide benefits for those who might use your financial institution as their primary institution.

Offer a rate benefit
You can offer a rate benefit for balance transfers to help entice your members to consolidate balances using your credit cards.

Connect with local merchants
Understanding where your members shop the most could allow you to possibly connect with a local merchant to offer a benefit for both your services.

One credit union offered a debit card marketing campaign that provided a $10 gas card for making $500 to $750 in debit card purchases, or $20 gas card for over $750 purchases. The results of this campaign increased the number of transactions per card from an average of less than six to nearly twenty-four transactions! The average spending increased from $136 to $1,002 during that same time frame.

The overall importance is to understand what members are looking for. This can be gathered by understanding member trends then providing a benefit which will in turn provide you with a successful campaign and increased interchange income as well!

Don’t forget the most critical part of all of this is marketing to your members. You need to have a strong marketing plan so that every time a member logs into online banking, comes into the office, or uses their mobile device, they are reminded of the benefits.


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