the most wanted - payment card features
Debit cards have been ruling Europe for some time, as far as non-cash payments are concerned. But credit and charge cards are right behind them and have been inching their way closer and closer. The increasing popularity of credit and charge cards can be attributed directly to their loyalty programs.
WHAT DO YOU NEED, WHAT DO YOU LIKE?
Potential cardholders today are spoiled for choice when it comes to payment cards. Financial freedom is most important to you, and you would prefer to stay in the black, avoiding debt at all costs? Debit cards are the perfect solution for you. You don't mind taking risks, as long as they come with great rewards attached? You can have your pick of credit and charge cards and you don't have to decide on just one card. Because a wallet with two or more payment cards is an everyday sight, and for a good reason. And that is just the topmost level of choice, without taking into consideration all the various features and benefits each individual card company offers its customers, and for each of its cards.
LOYALTY IS EARNED, NOT GIVEN
And what people said they like and need are loyalty features. The reasoning for loyalty being earned not given is simple and effective: card companies are aware that, since these payment cards come with fees attached, potential cardholders will want something in return.
These benefits can range from signup bonuses, low or 0% interest rates on new purchases and balance transfers for prolonged periods, travel benefits, gift cards to just card-related merchandise (anything from pens to shirts and caps).
And then there are benefits such as loyalty points that can be exchanged for discounts or services, various types of insurance offered by a card company (ranging from health to traveler's insurance) and, of course, if you are a deluxe member, you can expect a concierge service at your disposal 24/7.
IT IS ALL ABOUT CONTROL AND FLEXIBILITY
When looking at the European market, practice and research have shown time and again that the average European consumer wants as much control as possible over their payments, which explains the position of the debit card as the top choice.
And even installment payments come with an offer of choice. In the EU market a cardholder can choose between issuing installments, which are not merchant-dependent, that is the cardholder can perform them on their own via several channels ranging from an e-wallet, a mobile banking service or even over SMS or call center; and acquiring installments, which only a merchant can provide.
Another very popular feature is payments in installments - installments offer flexibility, which, according to a study by mastercard is another priority for the average cardholder.
But even with all the features and benefits already mentioned, there is another thing that very often is the deciding factor: personalization. A customer doesn't just want a well-crafted and functional product or service; they want to feel it was made specifically for them.
The same approach that led to Amazon's or Netflix's "If you liked this, you might also like that" recommendations, based on a customer personal preference, has now spread to ecommerce platforms and card companies.
THE UNIQUENESS OF CUSTOM DESIGN
Which, once again, brings us back to the embarrassment of riches that is the payment card features, but this time it's about high quality, custom-tailored design. You would like a titanium or silver card? How about a biodegradable one? Personalized artwork on your card, be it a logo or your kid's drawing? It is not only doable – a card company will make sure it is done.
In the end, all the
payment card features have the same goal: giving the cardholder a strong sense
of command over their finances, control over their spending habits, and
entrenching trust in the card company through safe and smooth everyday use of