EMV Is Coming. But Is It Too Little, Too Late?

by Pradeep T Moudgal 0

Mintel Corp.’s latest data show United States debit issuers haven’t slowed marketing their card programs, just changing the emphasis:

Today’s direct marketing campaigns encourage people to use debit because of security and convenience, particularly for everyday purchases. Marketing pieces try to get people to use their debit cards more, activate new cards or take advantage of just-released card features. Banks have also started to introduce statement rewards programs to replace the old style debit reward programs.

Rewards have taken a back seat to everyday use, funds protection, and ubiquitous acceptance. Mercator Advisory Research shows rewards are either tied to overall relationship value or offered through merchant-funded discount networks for regulated issuers. Unregulated issuers have an opportunity to stand out with cashback programs, but downward pressure on interchange fees is beginning to show in the market, which may mean even these programs will eventually dry up.

The majority of consumers who are banked in the U.S. have self-selected debit, so issuers main focus now should be on making sure remaining cards are activated and consumers feel as comfortable using their debit cards – online and offline – as they do their credit cards.

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