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November 5, 2019

Credit Cardholders Seek Smarter Budgeting Tools and Instalment Options

(London, UK): Many cardholders are looking for ways to more thoughtfully manage their purchases and repayment. Digital tools are a potential solution, but most consumers still track their budget manually. According to Auriemma Research’s latest issue of Cardbeat UK, however, 61% of cardholders believe digital tools would be helpful when tracking spend, even though only 20% say they are currently offered such a service from their card issuer.

Promoting existing digital budgeting tools (such as Monzo’s Salary Sorter, which segments income into spending, saving and bills), or creating new ones, will likely increase engagement and build loyalty with an issuer’s cardholders. However, tools offered must keep control in cardholder’s hands to remain appealing. For example, cardholders are more likely to set up spend alerts (45% likely) instead of spend limits (37%).

“Spend alerts may have slightly broader appeal because they put the real-time choice in the customer’s hands at purchase,” says Jaclyn Holmes, Director of Auriemma Research. “While both options provide cardholders the opportunity to set up thresholds in advance, limits prevent purchase at the point of sale, while alerts simply educate and allow consumers the choice.”

Digital tools can be helpful for keeping a budget organised, but instalment plans can help with budget management in the near-term. Online and in-store point-of-sale instalment plans provide a credit alternative for cardholders who have reached their spend or credit limit, those averse to credit cards or those who simply find the product appealing. Over one-third of those offered an instalment plan have taken advantage of the offer online or in-store over the past year. The take rate increases among revolvers (47%) and recent balance transfer customers (53%).

Revolvers and balance transfer customers are more attracted to point-of-sale instalment plans, they are more likely to have enrolled in them and are more likely to consider them for a variety of purchase types compared to their counterparts. And issuers have a clear advantage over third-party providers offering instalment plans. Nearly half of revolvers and balance transfer customers are interested in post-purchase instalment plans via their most frequently used card issuer, compared to nearly one-third of cardholders overall.

“Whether at the point-of-sale or post-purchase, revolvers and balance transfer customers are the richest audience for this product,” says Holmes. “Many seek ways to help manage their payments in an organised and predictable fashion, and instalment plans provide them a complement to other products that also offer them repayment flexibility.”

Whether for holiday, furniture, electronics or everyday items, instalment plans can help cardholders budget for future purchases. Although larger purchases tend to capture the most instalment plan usage, 25% of cardholders say they would consider the product for everyday items. This increases to nearly four-in-ten revolvers and recent balance transfer customers.

“Revolvers and balance transfer customers appear to be more open to utilising a variety of products available when making purchases and paying off debt,” says Holmes. “These cardholders don’t appear to be loyal to any one product and may be choosing between products based on need rather than desire.”

Cardholders have an increasing number of options to manage their finances. Whether setting up spend limits, alerts or accepting an instalment offer at the point-of-sale or post-purchase, cardholders have more flexibility than ever to decide how they will make their payments. Issuers who cater to this desire could increase engagement with their customers, particularly those who are already carrying a balance anyway.

Survey Methodology

This Auriemma Research study was conducted online within the UK by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma from July-August 2019, among 806 adult credit cardholders. The number of interviews completed on a monthly basis is sufficient to allow for statistical significance testing between sub-groups at the 95% confidence level ± 5%, unless otherwise noted. The purpose of the research was not disclosed nor did the respondents know the criteria for qualification.

About Auriemma Group

For more than 30 years, Auriemma’s mission has been to empower clients with authoritative data and actionable insights. Our team comprises recognised experts in four primary areas: operational effectiveness, consumer research, co-brand partnerships and corporate finance. Our business intelligence and advisory services give clients access to the data, expertise and tools they need to navigate an increasingly complex environment and maximise their performance. Auriemma serves the consumer financial services ecosystem from our offices in London and New York City. For more information, visit us at www.auriemma.group or call Jaclyn Holmes at
+44 (0) 207 629 0075.