In the past few years, the credit card industry has witnessed landmark mergers between issuers such as Bank of America and MBNA, JPMorgan Chase and Bank One, and Barclays and Juniper Bank, among numerous others. Two-thirds of cardholders whose issuers have been a part of a merger have not changed the ways they use their credit cards post-merger, according to research recently published in CardbeatÂ®, the syndicated market research report by Auriemma Consulting Group (ACG).
“These consumers were pleased with the customer service, card pricing and rewards of their credit cards, and chose to continue using them because the products and features did not change after the merger,” says Megan Bramlette, managing editor of Cardbeat.
Overall, consumers are neutral on bank mergers, with 68% expecting little change to their opinion of their credit card company if their card issuer was bought or sold.
“Consumers care less about the bank that issues their card and monthly statements than the benefits they receive from that relationship,” Bramlette says. Falloff in activity occurs when card rewards are not as rich post-merger as they were before, or when interest rates and account fees on the portfolio rise.
“Merging banks need to consider how consumers will react to their products post-merger,” she continues. “Our research shows that most consumers are confident about the ongoing independence of their current credit card issuers and have made it clear that they will remain loyal, even after a merger, as long as cardholder benefits and service levels remain the same.”
The information in this release includes data from 401 credit card users surveyed in February 2007. The findings were originally published in the February 2007 issue of Cardbeat.
ACG is a management consulting firm in the payments and lending industry. Cardbeat is a syndicated market research study from ACG that provides insight into how consumer perceptions impact credit card acquisition and usage.