We did an exclusive interview with CEO of CARD.com Ben Katz, and CEO of Arroweye Render Dahiya. Recently CARD.com and Arroweye collaborated on dynamically incorporating consumer-centric preferences. The hyper customization witnessed in CARD.com is enabled via Arroweye’s CustomerConnect solution and digital on-demand printing.
CARD.com is known for its online prepaid card solutions involving Visa and MasterCard cards featuring customizations oriented towards world’s best brands, causes, user-generated art, etc.. Arroweye is a leading payment technology provider of innovative card marketing and production solutions for the financial industry. Arroweye provides fully-digital card solutions approved by Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.
Arroweye recently conducted a consumer study which showed that 40% buy more from retailers who personalize their shopping experience across channels. In the payments space, personalization is especially important. The market is more competitive than ever and the stakes are high.
Ben said to LTP, “Everyone likes to personalize their experiences, and payment cards are no different. Card.com offers 3000 designs to choose from in a wide variety of themes, causes and brands. Women and millennials are more prone to choosing custom designs, but other consumer segments are also looking for affinity branding.”
Render said to LTP, “It can be proven that personalization results in better metrics on spend and transaction volume. Also, typically the reload rates for personalized cards are three times those of generic cards.”
According to a study by eMarketer, 75% of the marketers are on board with the idea of personalization but these companies have been slow in embracing personalization in practice. The primary reasons behind this slow progress have been either the complexity of systems or the access to real time data. In addition, regulatory changes have compelled the card industry to move away from term-driven offers in favor of tailored rewards and benefits that uniquely meet consumer needs.
Render added, “Given the high cost of managing this PCI-compliant inventory and the costs associated with destroying unused cards, it is surprising that not everyone is printing on demand. CARD.com is a leader on this front.”
By working with Arroweye, CARD.com has been able to overcome such challenges to certain extent. Arroweye’s digital on-demand technology platform, CutomerConnect, combines responsive data integration with on-demand card fulfillment. This gives card marketers, such as CARD.com, the flexibility to dynamically incorporate consumer-centric preferences into individual cards, carriers and packaging – creating true targeted and personalized campaigns that connect with customers at a one-to-one level.
“Customers choose their designs online and CARD.com provides a daily feed to Arroweye for fulfillment. There have been days when almost 30,000 cards were processed in a day,” Ben stated.
Render also said to LTP, “There should not be a need to pre-print plastic cards and hold inventory, which is where Arroweye helps by providing next day shipping on customer-selected designs.”
For CARD.com, CustomerConnect fits perfectly into a holistic company strategy that delivers deepened customer relationships and brand loyalty, for starters.
Businesses who have incorporated personalization strategies into their marketing plan know that it drives results. Key metrics like brand affinity, customer retention, propensity to refer (net promoters) and revenue all go up when personalization is done right.
Further to that, Render said, “B2B personalization should not be ignored either. Small and medium businesses like to use such features for better representation and achieve greater awareness with their customers, employees and partners.”
Increasing revenue usually means expanding market share or tapping into new markets, and sometimes both. CARD.com’s personalization strategy has actually driven growth in multiple ways:
Many general-purpose reloadable cards are used in a more “disposable” manner with an average card life ranging from a few months to at most a year. By contrast, CARD.com cardholders are far more likely to retain and reload the card because of its personalization.
In his interview with LTP, Ben also said, “Sometimes, the generic branding might be seen by lower-income users as a negative representation, so they opt for personalized branding. For these segments, the smartphone obviates the need for a bank branch. Relatively, we are the mobile alternative to a bank in this aspect."
As the amount of information continues to grow with technological advancements, consumers are not only becoming more sophisticated but also more distracted, making it more difficult to capture their attention. Talking about future strategies, Ben cited, “While Arroweye already supports EMV card personalization (since 2013), CARD.com is still waiting to evaluate the need and timing— the EMV decision will ultimately be an economic one. The company is also working on user-generated designs such as ‘selfies’ to be supported for personalization in the near future.”