RISE WITH FIS

An engagement strategy to grow your cardholder portfolio

Mladen Vladic | VP, Head of Loyalty Solutions, FIS

December 13, 2021

As a financial institution, you’re in a position that companies in other industries envy. You offer cardholders a product they use several times in one day or week. Each time they engage with your card, you access new insights that help you better understand your cardholders’ behaviors and preferences. When you apply those insights to encourage the kind of cardholder engagement that deepens relationships and helps build loyalty, you can grow your cardholder portfolio further. Here’s a closer look at how you can build an engagement strategy that unlocks all the unique opportunities within your cardholder portfolio.

Don’t overlook the importance of digital data

The need to limit human physical contact has turned many branch users to digital banking channels over the last year. But while the number of digital banking users continues to increase, most are still using only basic digital banking services, according to The Financial Brand.

This is an opportunity to educate, help and guide cardholders, and demonstrate how convenient and seamless their experience can be when they take advantage of the full breadth of your digital offering. The more cardholders see how these tools help them manage their financial lives, the greater their engagement with your financial institution. As cardholders increase their digital engagement, then your insights increase and you’re able to collect increasingly important data. The more you know about cardholders, the better equipped you are to design personalized engagement strategies that speak to the individual cardholders’ preferences and needs in a way that is contextually relevant.

Tailor experiences by purchase journeys

Engaging cardholders with integrated interactions throughout their purchase journey keeps your card top of mind and further integrates your brand into the cardholder experience. Whether it’s a relevant promotional offer or an educational tip on how to better manage their money or credit, Gartner explains that you have a chance to identify a need your cardholder encounters at every step of their purchase journey and help them solve it.

Think of cardholders in segments

Cardholder insights can be used to segment audiences by any number of factors - including location, behaviors and existing spend patterns - to retarget and deepen engagement. Ultimately, segmenting makes it easier to deliver a relevant experience or offer to each cardholder. Consider segmenting by criterion like:

  • Geography – Segments can be as broad as ‘by region,’ or as granular as a city or zip code
  • Demographics – Segment by age, gender, household status and industry
  • Behaviors – Target cardholders based on factors like channel usage, merchant category codes and purchase patterns
  • BIN-level – Segment bank identification numbers (BINs) based on growth opportunities like low usage, low balance, subscription-based purchases and repeatable transactions

Speak to their interests

The hallmark of an engagement strategy comes down to understanding cardholder behavior, motivations and future goals. Broad offerings that address every single cardholder (but only appeal to a few of them) will not deliver the level of engagement that leads to loyalty—particularly now that cardholders have so many payment options from so many kinds of providers. Your cardholder engagement strategy should go beyond the obvious and claim every opportunity to be a part of your cardholder’s life. Consider that your data can indicate voids within your cardholder relationship that you don’t currently fill but could. What brand or organizational partnerships might deepen cardholder engagement? What products other than your own do cardholders use? The more you align with your cardholder’s interests, the more likely they are to engage with your card.

The right technology partner can make all the difference

A technology partner can help your organization deliver a best-in-class loyalty program to your consumers at a pace that fits your organization. This new, open loyalty network concept allows consumers to tailor their preferences and create a level of engagement that fits their individual needs. In the future, consumers will be able to exchange loyalty currency not only for discounts at different points of sale, but to redeem their hard-earned loyalty perks in exchange for stock shares, cryptocurrencies, and a large variety of other options, making this engagement truly currency agnostic. Organizations that do not have the right technology partner to handle the details to make that happen risk being left behind by the competition.