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Security Centers, Digital Assistants and “BNPL” Are Trends to Watch Among Leading Credit Card Issuers

Fintech News Desk

Keynova Group Releases Semi-Annual Credit Card Scorecard Results with Bank of America and Discover Sharing No. 1 Digital Ranking

Keynova Group, the principal competitive intelligence source for digital financial services firms, announced the results of the Q2 2022 edition of its semi-annual Credit Card Scorecard. Bank of America and Discover once again tied for top honors for their digital user experiences, both ranking first in Overall Score in Keynova Group’s competitive evaluation of the 10 leading U.S. credit card issuers. The Scorecard’s findings show that key trends to watch among issuers include the expanded use of security centers offering personalized data and prescribing recommended cardholder actions, the movement of card-based Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) to the point of sale and the increasing prevalence of intelligent digital assistants to aid the cardholder experience.

“With the FTC reporting that credit card fraud accounted for 40% of identity theft incidents in the last quarter of 2021, credit card issuers have an imperative to augment and highlight the security measures associated with credit cards and cardholder accounts,” said Beth Robertson, managing director, Keynova Group. “Enhanced security centers are a critical focus for card issuers’ digital properties, offering personalized information, additional authentication and alert options to help with timely fraud detection.”

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Key Findings:

Increase in Digital Transacting Heightens Security Focus

As consumers’ increased digital transactions are heightening issuers’ focus on security, many credit card issuers are adding security centers and related features to assist cardholders with key action items such as reviewing account-access indicators, setting up alerts and adding options for additional authentication or identity monitoring.

Nearly all issuers (90%) have a security center accessible from their secure site, and 40% now include information that is personalized to the cardholder or to the card account. This includes information identifying merchants storing the card number, showing recent devices used for digital access to the account or listing apps with approval to link to the account for transaction data. Further, newer security centers, such as those from Bank of America and Chase, include proactive suggestions and links to steps that cardholders can take to improve their security. Bank of America also includes a customized security meter to highlight the impact of additional security measures enacted by the cardholder.

Identity monitoring measures such as social security number tracking services or dark web and data breach monitoring – pioneered by issuers like American Express and Discover – are offered by 40% of issuers, sometimes via the security center. These security centers can also house sign-in preferences, such as for additional authentication, with 70% of issuers now enabling cardholders to opt-in to further authentication measures for known or unknown device logins.

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Card-based BNPL Expands to the Point of Sale

Half of issuers are actively confronting developments in the fintech BNPL market with novel product offerings that may help to expand cards’ appeal to different demographic segments. While credit card issuers can market cardholder and purchase protections and elements related to a user’s credit score, such as no need for an additional credit query or new loan to participate in an issuer-based payment plan, positioning at the point of sale has been a challenge for expanding card-based BNPL solutions. American Express became one of the first issuers to market its BNPL installment option at the point of sale with an external vendor, Delta Airlines. Additional initiatives from card networks, individual issuers, or fintechs offering white-labeled services are expected to build the prominence of card-centric BNPL at the point of sale.

Digital Assistant Capabilities Vary Widely

Digital assistants vary widely from the most basic of chatbots to AI-powered tools that are rapidly increasing in sophistication, enabling key insights and interacting with spoken and contextual responses. While virtual assistants (VAs) that are situated in issuers’ mobile apps are nearly a norm – 70% of issuers currently offer a VA in their app – only 30% of issuers offer a truly intelligent virtual assistant with strong natural language abilities and personalized data and content. Bank of America and U.S. Bank are paving the way for this emerging generation of advanced mobile app VAs that can augment live support, provide useful transaction insights and cleanly link users to a live agent on request. These industry-leading VAs are inspiring the 40% of issuers that offer digital chatbots to improve these assistants’ capabilities with useful content, links to key tasks or information or by transferring users to a live agent after a maximum of two failed answer attempts.

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