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December 9, 2020

Do Cardholders Want Second Look or Credit Help Program Options?

(New York, NY) Second look products provide credit card applicants the opportunity to acquire a card more aligned with their financial standing, often without having to undergo another full application process.  Auriemma Group’s latest issues of Cardbeat US® and The Payments Report uncovered how likely applicants are to take these secondary offers, and how interested they would be in programs that give them suggestions on how to improve their application before reapplying.

Less than one-fifth (16%) of credit cardholders report being offered a different card than they applied for after being declined. However, the take rate for these offers is very high, with 69% of those offered accepting the second look option.

“This high acceptance rate for secondary credit products highlights the need for credit by below prime customer segments,” says Carrie Luciano, Manager of Partnerships at Auriemma Group. “Many are willing to accept an alternative credit product if they were referred by the card they initially applied for.”

Auriemma’s research also found that while familiarity was an important factor when accepting second look card offers, those who have had an application rejected in the past year may be more open to a lesser-known provider. About half of credit cardholders (48%) believe a lesser-known issuer would offer a more attractive product than a known issuer—this figure increases to 72% when looking at those who have been rejected.

“For merchants, offering an alternative second look credit product provides a means to boost topline sales and improves the otherwise negative customer experience of being declined—by facilitating credit for those who need it,” says Luciano. “Second look programs also have an ancillary benefit of acting as a credit building tool for applicants who often get rejected.”

While second look programs provide applicants with alternative offers, there is appetite for programs that help consumers improve the approval odds and reapply. The Path to Apple Card program provides this opportunity to applicants Goldman Sachs believes could meet the application requirements if the program is completed. Once the program is successfully completed, applicants are invited to reapply for the Apple Card.

Auriemma’s research found that 48% of cardholders would be interested in enrolling in a program that would help them improve their application if it led to them being reconsidered for that card after a 6-month period. Interest in such a program was driven by those with FICO scores below 670 and revolvers.

“Credit help programs, like the Path to Apple Card program, offer a way to keep applicants engaged with their desired card product, even if their application initially falls below par,” says Luciano. “While second look offers solve for an immediate credit need, credit help programs could be attractive to those willing to wait.”

Second look and credit help program offerings are on the path to ubiquity—with elements that satisfy consumer need and create opportunities for issuer engagement. Providing them as a secondary option circumvents the potentially negative rejection experience and allows applicants another opportunity to access credit, either with a new provider or with their primary option following some application improvements.

With over 30 years of experience crafting profitable, long-lasting partnerships in the Cards and Payments industry, Auriemma and a history covering second look programs, Auriemma is well suited to assist with your partnership or research needs in this area. Contact Auriemma at (+1) 646-454-4200 to learn more.

Survey Methodology

Cardbeat US

This Auriemma Group study was conducted online within the US by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma Group (Auriemma) in September 2020 among 813 adult credit cardholders. The number of interviews completed for both is sufficient to allow for statistical significance testing among sub-groups at the 95% confidence level ±5%, unless otherwise noted. The purpose of the research was not disclosed, nor did respondents know the criteria for qualifying. The average interview length was 17 minutes.

The Payments Report

This Auriemma Group study was conducted online within the US by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma in September 2020, among 821 adult debit 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. The average interview length was 26 minutes.

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 recognized 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 maximize their performance. Auriemma serves the consumer financial services ecosystem from our offices in New York City and London. For more information, call Jaclyn Holmes (Research) or Carrie Luciano (Partnerships) at (+1) 646-454-4200.