credit cards

drag2share: The Mobile Payments Rush Is On, And The Winners Will Shape The Future Of Transactions And Commerce

source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/VJprYkEcHvs/a-primer-on-the-mobile-payments-market-2013-9

valueforecast 5

PayPal is close to a deal to acquire Braintree, a company that specializes in powering mobile transactions. Meanwhile, Facebook announced that it’s pairing up with payment companies to roll out “Autofill,” which makes it easier for its users to buy things straight from their phones.

Mobile devices are edging closer to fulfilling their long-delayed promise as digital wallets, and tech and financial services players do not want to be left out.

Consumers and merchants are beginning to see the advantage of channeling offline payments through mobile devices, rather than transacting in coins and cash, credit cards — or clunky register systems.

In a new report from BI Intelligence,  we explain the main reasons why mobile payments are poised for takeoff, provide proprietary estimates for the growth and size of the mobile payments market in the years to come, and analyze the specific trends that will help shape the growth in mobile payments, including user concerns around security. We track the demographic and geographic nature of ! the cons umers who will drive the growth, merchant-side adoption, and the mobile payments solutions that will lead the charge.


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Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 news No Comments

Americans Are Rekindling Their Dangerous Love For Credit

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/americans-are-rekindling-their-dangerous-love-for-credit-2013-9

credit card spendingFueled by a burgeoning economy, shoppers have slowly but surely rekindled their love affair with plastic. A new MasterCard analysis shows that in 2012, U.S. credit card volume grew by $172 billion year-over-year, an increase of 8.4%.

We’ve pretty much done a complete 180 since the onset of the recession. Back in 2008, Americans shifted more than $140 billion from credit to debt card spending.

You could say consumers are simply feeling more secure about their ability to handle credit card bills these days. But looking closer at the study, we found two dangerous signs that we could be getting in over our heads again.

More than half of credit users say they continuously carry a balance on their accounts and 54% of consumers say they use credit for rewards, up a full 9 points from 2008.

Credit lenders are incentivizing overspending and consumers are clearly taking the bait.

Already, we can see the effect rewards are having on credit use. The average credit card transaction is only $93, signaling that consumers are leaning on credit even for everyday purchases in order to get rewards.

Warning Signs

Credit perks are all well and good if you’re planning on paying your card down each month. But what’s the point in cashing in credit rewards if you’re dragging your credit score down and running the risk of paying late payment fees in the process?

There’s real danger in relying on credit cards just for a fe! w extra cashback points. First of all, carrying balance on your credit card is one of the easiest ways to lower your credit score. You’re basically telling lenders that you’re willing to rack up charges without having the means to pay them off in quick fashion.

“The amount of debt a consumer carries tends to be highly predictive of future credit performance because the amount a person owes has a direct impact on her or his ability to pay all their credit obligations on time each month,” says Barry Paperno, consumer operations manager for myFICO.com. “While having debt doesn’t automatically put someone in a high-risk category, as balances increase, the probability of having difficulty making payments on time each month increases.”

In an ideal world, everyone would pay down their credit card balance in full each month. Realistically speaking, most experts recommend keeping your total debt load at one-third of your available credit limit.

We’d recommend going even further. A recent FICO report found that people with the highest credit scores typically carried debt loads less than 7% of their total limits.

A good rule of thumb: If you’re about to use a credit card, just ask yourself if you’d be making that purchase if you were using cash instead. If the answer is no, chances are you’re better off keeping that card parked in your wallet.

 

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Monday, September 16th, 2013 news No Comments

drag2share: Tracking Winners And Losers In The Multibillion-Dollar Mobile Phone Payments Revolution

source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/-XKigzrRzkc/mobile-phone-payments-solutions-2013-8

bii_mobilepayments2013_paypalConsumers gravitate to convenience. That’s as true with payment technologies as it is with anything else. A prime example is the decades-old trend away from cash or checks and toward credit cards.

Now, the mass adoption of smartphones and tablets has set the stage for a new move — away from offline card-and cash-based transactions and toward those completed on mobile. The old dream of the “digital wallet” is coming true in a very particular mobile-led fashion.


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Friday, August 16th, 2013 news No Comments

EMV in, magnetic strips out

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/31/mastercard-reveals-roadmap-for-our-electronic-payment-future-em/

MasterCard reveals roadmap for EMV electronic payments It’s been over fifteen years since MasterCard, Visa and Europay developed EMV technology to make your credit cards more secure, but it has yet to really catch on here in the US. However, MasterCard has created a master plan to help usher in the EMV era and sound the death knell for the magnetic strip. Why? The EMV infrastructure is far more fraud-resistant because each transaction is authenticated dynamically using cryptographic algorithms and a user-specific PIN. That’s why MasterCard plans to help build out the EMV POS infrastructure by April of next year and have its secure e-payment system functioning at ATMs, online and with its myriad mobile payment options as well. For now, the nuts and bolts of how the credit card firm plans to bring its plan to fruition are few, but more details will be forthcoming, and there’s a bit more info at the source and PR below.

Continue reading MasterCard reveals roadmap for our electronic payment future: EMV in, magnetic strips out

! MasterCard reveals roadmap for our electronic payment future: EMV in, magnetic strips out originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 31 Jan 2012 05:42:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 news No Comments

OpenSky Hits 1 Million Users And More Than $1.5 Million In Monthly Sales

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/opensky-1-million-users-2012-1


John Caplan OpenSky

Fab and Turntable weren’t the only pivot success stories of 2011. Another e-commerce site, OpenSky, went from struggling to successful in about nine months.

OpenSky was founded in 2009 by John Caplan as an e-commerce arm for bloggers. Influential writers could create storefronts alongside their content, but it wasn’t a fruitful business model for OpenSky.

“Last year we were dead in the water,” says Caplan. “We weren’t selling very much. When people are reading they aren’t buying things; they don’t have their credit cards in hand.”

Caplan decided to pivot his startup. OpenSky relaunched in April as a personalized shopping site.  Now e-commerce isn’t secondary to content on OpenSky; it’s king.

The new OpenSky operates like Twitter. It works with 80 industry influencers and celebrities, like Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay and Alicia Silverstone, to create lists of their favorite items.  Users can follow the influencers and buy the endorsed products.  OpenSky holds all the inventory, ships items to users, and splits the profit 50/50 with influencers. Caplan says none of OpenSky’s influencers are investors. They just really like the product.

“It’s like Twitter but our merchandisers [the celebrities who pick the items OpenSky sells] are making tens of thousands of dollars every month from their followers,” says Caplan. Martha Stewart, for example, has 83,549 followers on OpenSky just waiting to buy a recommended rolling pin or mixing bowl.

So far, OpenSky’s pivot has worked wonders. In April, its first relaunch month, OpenSky generated about $66,000 in sales. Last month it generated well over $1.5 million. “Revenue has been increasing 50% month over month,” says Caplan.

In October the 87-person startup raised $30 million. Today, Caplan told us OpenSky crossed the 1 million user mark. About 68% of users are repeat buyers, purchasing new OpenSky items within eight weeks.

We asked Caplan what his margins are like. Despite the 50/50 split, he says they’re pretty good.

“Brands are excited about OpenSky because they want to be endorsed by celebrities,” says Caplan. While brands can’t pay for distribution on OpenSky, they generate a lot of sales when celebrities decide to post their items. Caplan likens OpenSky to Pinterest.  The brands’ excitement makes it easy for OpenSky to purchase, store and sell celebrity-endorsed items at reasonable prices and margins.

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Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

Why Loyalty Credit Cards May Soon Be A Thing Of The Past

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/credit-suisse-retailers-loyalty-programs-2011-12


loyalty credit card

Credit cards have been a staple for retail rewards programs for decades (you know, like that Visa card they try to make you sign up for every time you go to Gap). They’ve been an effective way to reward customers, and for retailers to get additional funding.

But a new report by analysts Michael Exstein, Chrisopher Su and Trey Schorgi at Credit Suisse says that it’s time for retailers to abandon the credit card. Why are credit-based rewards programs not the right way to go anymore?

1. The cost of rewards programs keeps rising for banks. As rewards competition ramps up, issuer margins are pressured.

2. As the programs get more expensive, banks will offset costs in other areas. This will result in either less beneficial terms for retailers, or higher fees for consumers. Retailers may have to increase their own rewards programs to remain competitive

3. Retailers’ relationships with their customers could be hurt, because banks (who are now in control of many retailers’ credit businesses) could squeeze consumers. Since the programs are branded for retailers, not the banks, consumers would deem them responsible.

Credit Suisse instead suggests that the answer to these woes is simple. Switch over to programs based around membership fees or other upfront investments. “Going forward, we think the emerging trend will be the need for consumers to “invest” in loyalty programs, thereby creating a “vested interest,” says the report.

So what brands are doing it right so far?

Amazon — The Amazon Prime membership program has been vastly successful. Consumers pay an annual membership fee of $79, and get shipping benefits, free use of Amazon Instant Video and perks for their Kindle.

Costco — The largest membership warehouse club in the world has three levels of membership. There’s a $55 annual fee for businesses, a $55 ‘Gold’ card for individuals and a $55 executive member upgrade, which gives folks a 2% discount on most purchases.

Sam’s Club — Walmart’s warehouse subsidiary has a similar system, with a $40 per year Advantage card for individuals ($100 for Advantage Plus which offers extra savings) and a $35 per year Business membership ($100 for Business Plus).

Macy’s — “Thanks for Sharing” is a program that’s working for Macy’s to generate loyalty. It requires a $25 upfront investment (which is actually a donation to charity), in exchange for rewards.

Target — The REDcard is a ‘hybrid’ method which has been working well since the retailer started it up in 2010. It offers 5% savings on everything and includes shipping benefits.

These programs all capitalize on the concept of creating that “vested interest.” Customers, having already paid a set of promised benefits, will be more likely to keep spending to use those benefits that they’ve already paid for. They’ll keep coming back.

NOW SEE: The 20 Brands With The Most Loyal Customers >

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 news No Comments

Are Daily Deal Credit Cards On The Way?

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/are-daily-deal-credit-cards-on-the-way-2011-10


Groupon

With the daily deal market exploding, what’s next for sites like Groupon and LivingSocial?

Groupon Goods might be the answer on some expert’s lips, but according to CardHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou, branded credit cards look more likely. 

That’s because credit cards are easier for shoppers to use. Unlike a coupon, they work automatically and you can always store the cards in your wallet.

Credit cards would also simplify the redemption process in that consumers could easily swipe and credit 2, 3, or even 5% cash back to their account, for example. Plus the cards present a lucrative stream of revenue that only stands to be threatened by sophisticated card companies like American Express and Visa.

The demand is there, as a survey of 1,500 consumers conducted by Lightspeed Research revealed last month. More than a quarter (27%) of LivingSocial customers said they would be interested in a branded card, while more than a third (34%) of Groupon’s customers want one too.

But would daily deal credit cards be a boon to cash-strapped consumers or just passed off as a trend among the sites’ spendthrift regulars?

“Most likely it’s going to be something high end consumers who are spenders will want,” says Papadimitriou. “They won’t be making them their primary cards across the board, but people don’t usually make store-brand cards their primary cards anyway.”

This makes sense: Lightspeed found that relative to the overall U.S. credit cardholder population, Groupon and LivingSocial regulars tend to have better credit scores, are twice as likely to pay off their monthly card balances in full, and are three times as likely to make purchases with them. What’s more, about half are earning $75,000, so they can afford it. 

So while the cards wouldn’t do much to spark the economy on the whole—or soothe the millions of Americans desperate for a deal—they might do plenty to stoke spending among the credit elite. Which is exactly what Groupon or LivingSocial want, since most affinity cards are hard up to take on risky credit holders.

If you’re in the high end, however, think twice before signing up if a card is released, says Papadimitriou. 

“As with all co-branded cards, if you’re already a loyal customer and are spending a lot of money—say more than $2,000 to $3,000 a year, then get that branded card because it will likely be useful. But if you’re not a loyal customer or a frequent spender with that company, then don’t worry about it.”

 

 

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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 news No Comments

Offermatic Gives You Sizeable Discounts Based on Your Spending Habits

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5532835/offermatic-gives-you-sizeable-discounts-based-on-your-spending-habits

Offermatic Gives You Sizeable Discounts Based on Your Spending HabitsThe best discounts are for things you actually buy. Free web service Offermatic uses your credit card, through the same back-end as Mint.com, to offer 40-90 percent discounts on products similar to what you’ve already purchased.

If you’re not squeamish about providing financial information to financial scanning sites like Mint.com, Offermatic is a pretty sweet deal. You register your credit cards with Offermatic through their secure system, which then scans your purchases and spits back out high-discount offers from their advertisers, made to match your interests. You won’t necessarily get coupons for the exact stores you shop at, but the examples seem to be highly related.

Depending on how much you spend, you can also make up to $15 a year back per card (though, to be honest, we’re not about to spend $1,000 a month just to get $15 back at the end of the year, and we wouldn’t recommend you do either). But getting 40-90 percent off some pretty popular stores isn’t bad for a free service. For the folks on the fence about how Offermatic makes their cut, here’s what their FAQ has to say:

  • If your service is free, how do you make money?
    We make money by saving you money. We get a commission from the advertiser when our users purchase their offer through us.
  • Do you sell my personal or individual data?
    Never. When we send you an offer from one of our advertisers, it’s based on your anonymous purchase history. Advertisers do not know your name, email address, or location. Only if you choose to purchase an offer will that information be provided to the offer merchant so you can redeem the offer with them. We do not – and will not – provide or sell any personally identifiable information in order to present you an offer.

So, if you’re less than frightened about card-watching sites like Mint or Blippy, Offermatic is a deal you’ll want to take a closer look at.

Offermatic [via TechCrunch]

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Friday, May 7th, 2010 news No Comments

CCA – cost of customer acquisition

how do we judge the relative merit and effectiveness of different types of advertising? By finding a common parameter that can be used to compare “apples to apples.” We argue that cost of customer acquisition is a great candidate for such a parameter.

For example, if television advertising cost $50 million to produce and air, and 1,000 people came to the acquisition website, and 10 people applied for and received credit cards then the CCA — cost of customer acquisition would be $5 million ($50 million / 10 people who got the credit card). Of course television advertisers would claim that the “impressions” from TV would have “branded” millions more people and they would eventually get a credit card from the company. That’s possible. But for the purposes of this exercise, if there is no absolute end-to-end tracking, we don’t count it. Because, for example, many other possible scenarios can also occur, like the person saw this ad for a credit card but ended up getting a card from a different bank, they saw and remembered the ad but they already had several credit cards from the company, etc.

With “online” we can easily see lift in search activity around the time that brand/awareness advertising is in-flight. This is one of the best indicators of interest — the person saw the TV ad, and was inspired enough to go online to do more research to inform their own purchase decision. Modern consumers will typically search and then click through. In rare instances, they will type the URL, but it is usually the domain name, not the special URL — domain_name.com/special_url — just because of pure laziness or simply because they forgot the /special_url portion.

Now let’s look at a print example: a print ad cost $5 million to produce and traffic in targeted magazines. About 1,000 people came to the website and 10 people ended up purchasing the advertised product. So the CCA is $500,000 per customer acquired.  There may be more people who saw the ad and eventually came in to buy a product. But again, there is a problem of attribution.

Now a final example from “online” marketing.  Search ads were run using Google Adwords and a $1 CPC (cost per click) was paid. Of those people who clicked through 1 in 20 purchased a product. So it took 20 clicks at $1 each to achieve 1 sale – so the cost of customer acquisition is $20.

OK, so what about prodycts not sold online? We can use a proxy which has a known conversion to sales. For example, once a coupon is printed from the website, from historic data the advertiser knows that 30% end up using the coupon – i.e. redeeming with a purchase. So, again, if we used a $1 CPC and 1 in 20 ended up printing the coupon and 30% of those “converted” to an offline sale, the CCA would be $66.67  ($20/0.30).

So to recap

Television – $5 million CCA

Print – $500,000 CCA

Paid Search – $20 CCA

Paid Search + Offline Sale – $67 CCA

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Saturday, February 21st, 2009 digital, integrated marketing, marketing No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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