Personalisation is the order of the day. It is the ongoing trend in 2019 with almost all business gearing up to create a streamlined personalized experience for their customers. Each and every person on earth who has ever been into e-commerce space already knows what is a credit card and what are its powers. One can expect credit card issuers to follow these trends as well. It could entail the customers paying more for the services they get. At the same time, consumers can also expect better services than ever before. Here are some of the critical trends in credit cards, we expect to see in 2019.
Important Trends in a nutshell
- Customers can expect things to become easy for them in 2019
- However, they might have to pay more to avail the benefits of personalised services
- Banks and credit card issuing companies could entice customers to use the cards more than you usually do
- Do not expect rewards programs to intensify further
- Consumers with below-average credit records might as well bid their chances goodbye
1. Personalisation can make it easy for the consumers
In the olden days, the more the number of services on offer, the better was the value of the service provider. Things are changing today with consumers preferring to patronise service providers that provide personalised services. When you have personalised services, things can become simple and convenient for the customer.
One of the best examples of personalised services is the mobile payment option available to customers. With more people preferring to use mobile apps, you can expect more credit card companies to tweak their products to offer a better mobile experience. You can expect to have mobile apps that could help you to pay off your debts using credit cards.
One can also expect specialised mobile apps that analyse your spending patterns and help you focus on the right credit card for you. At the same time, you can also find an increase in the issuance of co-branded cards to suit the particular lifestyles of the customers.
Transparency is another area where we can expect credit card companies to concentrate. When you have clarity, it makes it easy for the customer to compare different products and choose the right one. Transparency makes it easy for people to redeem rewards points and understand aspects like hidden fees and credit score monitoring. You can also expect some credit cards to do away with the late fee concept. There are also trends that indicate credit card companies doing away with cash advance interest component.
In short, the customers are in for a bonanza in 2019.
2. Be ready to shell out more for better services
All good things come at a price. There is no such concept of a free lunch in today’s competitive world. Therefore, if you hope to receive personalised and convenient services, you should be ready to pay for the same as well.
With the increasing popularity of credit cards, one can expect merchant establishments to pass on the swiping fees to the ultimate consumer. This concept of surcharging is not new to the credit card industry. It is prevalent when you see people using credit cards to pay their fuel bills. Every fuel expense paid by credit card attracts a nominal surcharge. One can expect this practice to spill over to other purchases as well. Thus, the customer might end up having to pay more every time they use credit cards.
At the same time, you can also expect banks to refund the surcharge portion (less tax) to the customers thereby bringing some relief. The intense competition in the industry might force credit card companies to resort to providing such benefits.
3. Entice customers to use credit cards more
Credit card companies benefit more when customers transact more by using their cards. Therefore, they have to entice customers to use credit cards more than ever. We saw this trend in 2018 as well with banks coming up with offering attractive perquisites to make people transact more with their credit cards. The year 2019 will be the same in many ways.
One way of inducing people to transact more using credit cards is to offer better sign-up bonuses or offer 0% introductory APR products. You can also expect banks to come up with products that offer bonus reward points beyond the initial sign up period.
Offering cashback to entice people to spend more is also an expected trend in 2019. Similarly, making it easy for the customer to transact is a sure way to induce people to use cards instead of cash. The contactless debit and credit credits are exciting features to attract more customers towards using credit cards.
4. Rewards points programmes can level off
One of the best advantages of offering sign-up bonuses is that it attracts customers to apply for new credit cards and use them frequently. This benefit is also a disadvantage in a way for the credit card issuers because people have started switching over to other credit cards after the initial sign-up period with the first card get exhausted. It affects the card issuers a lot.
The year 2018 saw the peaking of the rewards point programmes. Hence, you can expect the reward points to plateau off. Most of the banks are already providing the highest reward points of all time. It also implies that the big sign-up bonuses will stay as they are. Thus, customers who spend big can hope to earn big as well.
The time is also ripe for banks and credit card issuers providing bonus rewards for customers who repay their bills on time. It could well be the game changer of 2019.
5. Have a bad credit record: better bid goodbye to acquiring credit cards
When there is an increase in the use of credit cards over the years, there is a corresponding increase in the number of defaults as well. It can make it difficult for people with bad credit to get access to credit cards.
With the overall NPAs of the banks increasing to an all-time high, one can expect the NPA figures to grow in the credit card segment as well. Banks would naturally not like to lend more under such circumstances. Therefore, you can expect banks to stiffen their lending norms.
In a scenario where interest rates on other loans are rising, one can expect the APR on credit cards to advance to higher levels than ever before. Automatically, you can see a decline in the number of people applying for credit cards.
The best way out for customers is to ensure they make payments on time. It not only helps improve their overall credit rating but also makes them eligible to have better access to credit cards.
We have seen five foreseeable trends in credit cards in 2019. Some of them have already started taking shape as we are already into the second quarter of the year today. However, one thing is sure to happen. Customers with good repayment records can see good tidings on the wall. It is better for them if they continue the excellent work. It should also serve as an encouragement to others to emulate them.