Unlock the value in your debit card program data

August 22, 2022

Debit card issuers are sitting on a goldmine of insights, and many are not taking full advantage. We live in the age of big data, and your current and historic debit card program data contains more value than you might think.

Many considerations go into a successful, profitable debit card program. Issuers must efficiently convert plastic activations, incentivize cardholders transactions to maximize interchange, encourage healthy cardholder bank account balances and control fraud. Without the proper data to recognize historic trends, issuers can struggle to maximize their debit card issuing program.

Let’s examine some key use cases for historic debit card program data that can translate directly to your bottom line.

Debit card plastic activation

The first step in any debit cardholder relationship is overcoming the hurdle of card activation. Your historic debit card data provides key insights into which potential cardholders activate their cards, where they are located, their financial demographics and how long after they receive their card it takes them to complete activation if they activate their card at all.

This data, once compiled and evaluated, provides key insights into improving activation rates and targeting marketing to cardholders most likely to activate. Cardholders most likely to activate are most likely to transact, helping you effectively find customers more likely to form lasting, profitable relationships.

Cardholder demographic data

Each debit card transaction contains key information to identify your profitable and not-so-profitable cardholder demographics. Analysis of years of debit transactions across your entire cardholder base paints a comprehensive picture of who your best cardholders are, where they live, where they transact, how often and what they purchase. These historic trends provide critical insights into the types of cardholders you should pursue in the present.

For example, historic transaction data can provide a picture of the top ZIP codes your institution services that are ripe for net new debit card offers or special incentives that encourage your current cardholders to use your card more often. You can conversely de-emphasize areas that have been historically less fruitful.

Understanding your debit cardholders’ behaviors and spending patterns can be invaluable in developing marketing campaigns that effectively target current and potential customers with personalized offers to maximize engagement and grow revenue, and it all starts with organizing and analyzing your vast resources of debit data.

Authorization and lost/stolen data

Historic debit card data can also improve your understanding of fraud trends and help you reduce future fraud, leading to improved cardholder satisfaction, loyalty and a boost to your profitability. Authorization data tells you which merchant category codes (MCCs) tend to produce the most fraud and at which individual merchants and locations. This data can then translate to improved fraud prevention rules for your debit program, ensuring more valid transactions are approved and more fraud is identified for declines prior to authorization.

Data trends can also help you identify client segments prone to lost/stolen debit cards as well as hot spots for lost/stolen cards and authorized transactions leading to fraud charge-off claims. This data helps you see trends in more detail, assisting future marketing efforts and designing new rule strategies to curtail fraud.

COMING SOON – Ethos Analytics with the Debit Data Pack

FIS® is currently nearing the final phases of development of our Payments One Debit Data Pack addition to the Ethos™ Analytics tool. Once available, this powerful, comprehensive view of your current and historic FIS debit card program data will provide each of the insights discussed above and many more.

All this data will be organized into convenient, easy to use out-of-the-box dashboards that can be exported and ready for your next boardroom presentation, or the user can create custom reporting for your unique needs.

Insights available on-demand will include:

  • Executive summary – top key performance indicators
  • Debit authorization summary
  • Debit purchase summary
  • Purchase – domestic
  • Purchase – international
  • Decline – domestic
  • Decline – international
  • Card statistics summary
About the Author
Jenny Lewis, Product Manager, FIS Data Solutions
Jenny LewisProduct Manager, FIS Data Solutions

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