Over the past year there has been a considerable increase in the number of card servicing features added to digital channels by credit card providers. Digital banking research company Mapa Research tracks innovations and changes in this space, and has found that certain functionality – such as requests for PIN reminders, requesting increased credit limits and changing passwords – has become near ubiquitous among credit card providers’ digital offerings.
With data coming from the quarterly Mapa Research Credit Cards Dashboard, monitoring and comparing 17 UK providers over 180 metrics, the company notes that providers not offering these ‘hygiene features’ to customers will find themselves lagging behind.
The vast majority of providers now allow customers to request a new credit limit, either on mobile or desktop, with just 12% of audited providers missing this feature. Similarly, less than a third of providers do not allow customers to request a replacement card or PIN reminder digitally.
In addition, helpful account servicing features have become far more common. The last quarter saw the remaining 12% of audited providers make it possible for customers to change their account login PIN/password from the secure desktop site. This means that 100% of audited credit card providers now offer this feature.
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Interestingly, in the last quarter, the percentage of audited providers offering customers the chance to decrease card limits online tripled from 12% to 36%. Although still uncommon, this is something that Mapa predicts will become a hygiene factor in due course.
Asda Money is one provider who has recently introduced the option to decrease the credit limit on the secure banking website, making it easier for customers to look after their financial health. Asda Money was also the only provider to optimise this functionality for the mobile browser.
With these improvements in functionality, the level of control given to credit card customers past the point of login is becoming fairly standardised. It is therefore likely that competition will move towards giving customers more control in the application process. Currently, providing an eligibility checker online is still not a hygiene factor, with only 53% of providers offering prospective customers the ability to check how likely it is that they will be accepted for the product before applying.
Senior Analyst at Mapa Research Rory Pennington comments: ‘In 2016, the emphasis for credit card providers was on improving digital discovery journeys and product sales online: improving online access to products, and introducing tools to help customers find the relevant card for them. However, 2017 has seen a big shift towards improving online functionality, such as account and card servicing. Providers are now focusing on strengthening existing customer relationships by improving what the customer can access and achieve online with their card.