Our Card Issuing practice is focused on serving the needs of credit card issuers, payment networks, service providers, partner organizations as well as other industry stakeholders. From a product perspective, we have expertise with all card and program types (relationship, non-relationship, rewards, etc.). Our support ranges from strategy to tactical assignments and covers a wide spectrum of functional areas including marketing, benchmarking, credit risk, operations, finance, procurement, and the like. Our client reach is global in scope, and in addition to the U.S., we have extensive experience in Canada, Mexico, Latin America, the U.K., and continental Europe.
Our clients include the most successful and diverse companies in the card industry. They range from global financial institutions to regional banks, world-class partner organizations as well as service providers. As indicated below, our clients span market sectors, channels, and geographical regions:
Product & Program Expertise
For over 20 years, we have advised clients on strategic and tactical matters. Below is an abbreviated list of the types of products and programs we cover.
In any given year, we complete 100+ projects serving the card issuing segment. The highlights below are representative of the type and scope of assignments we complete and the results we help clients achieve.
- Market Entry: Advised several of the largest regional banks on their re-entry into the credit card and commercial card issuing businesses following the termination of long-standing agent bank relationships.
- Sector Expansion: Advised a leading credit card issuer on its expansion into the partnership sector as management looked to secure new growth opportunities.
- Industry Assessments: Routinely provide updates on industry trends and related matters to the largest credit card issuers to enhance their strategy development processes.
- Growth Opportunity Assessments: Worked with several leading issuers to evaluate and rank-order growth opportunities and build business cases with which to secure investment.
Portfolio Reviews / Diagnostics
- Performance Benchmarking: Completed a best practices and benchmarking study for a large credit card issuer related to in-branch marketing and new account acquisition.
- Revenue Improvement: Worked with a large international credit card issuer in evaluating cross-selling opportunities (e.g., enhancement services) to drive additional profit streams.
- Portfolio Management: Assisted numerous domestic and international credit card issuers in diagnosing portfolio management problems and developing solutions (e.g., credit line strategies, delinquency trends, collections improvements, etc.).
- Partner Selection: Managed the partner selection process for many of the largest retailers, airlines, hotels, oil companies, office supply, and other related partner organizations. Comprehensive support includes RFP process management, due diligence and contract negotiation.
- Program Management/Support: Provide on-going program and partnership management services to many of our largest partner clients (retailers, airlines, etc.). Scope of services includes crisis management / conflict resolution, restructuring, negotiation strategy, benchmarking, organizational change, etc.
- Processing: Assisted several leading financial institutions with their card program launches or re-launches, including, where appropriate, card processor selection, contract negotiation, program set up, operational design and other support.
- Servicing: Managed comprehensive RFP processes for several issuers to select service providers for customer service, collections, dispute processing, fraud detection, and other back-office functions.
- Output Services: Managed a comprehensive RFP process for one of the largest North American financial institutions as it evaluated outsourcing its statement and card production functions.
- Strategy: Completed competitive research and various business cases for leading financial services, travel and retail programs to develop program options and strategic recommendations.
- Execution: Managed comprehensive RFP process for the selection of vendors to support new rewards program; engagement included on-site implementation support.
- Toolset: Engaged by numerous commercial card issuers to build rebate pricing models.
The credit card issuing industry has seen its fair share of evolution over the last several decades, but at no time has the change been as extensive as it has in the last few years. As if the recession and changing consumer and business behaviors were not enough, the industry simultaneously had to deal with the broadest regulatory reform it has ever seen – the CARD Act and ongoing activities of the CFPB and BASE II are revolutionary in scope.
The rules of the game have changed, and they will continue to change. Issuers must constantly assess how well they are positioned for the future. Key questions to be answered include:
- What is the long-term strategy, and are the right incentives in place to ensure success?
- Is there a commitment to the business, and have all options been assessed (keep, acquire, sell, etc.)?
- How must the profit model change to be successful in the new world of card issuing?
- Is the business as efficient as it can be while still delivering excellent service and a competitive product?
- Is the business nimble enough to adjust to future change and to take advantage of opportunities as they arise?
The card industry is here to stay, but it will continue to evolve over the next decade and beyond. New products will be introduced and old ones retired, partnerships will be formed and disbanded, and issuers will come and go. But those that succeed in the long-term will take advantage of the change and opportunities as they arise.
Our Card Issuing team draws on a pool of professionals with years of experience. Our leadership team has been with First Annapolis, on average, for nearly 15 years and has built the practice from its inception. The diversity of our client base coupled with the longevity of our client relationships allows us to bring insights that have been tested and proven. For more information on our Card Issuing leadership team, please reference their biographies: