Customers Move to Web to Manage Credit Card Accounts

Many consumers now manage their credit card accounts online. A comScore report finds the number of customers who rely on the Web to carry out customer service activities grew 28 percent in the 12-month period ending Q1 2005.

People who log on to credit card e-service accounts make up 21 percent of the online population and account for 43 percent of all online spending. The average income of e-service credit card users skews higher. Sixty-four percent of those users have household incomes greater than $50,000. On the flip side, 57 percent of people who don’t use e-services have household incomes in the same bracket.

Credit card holders who log in to check balances and pay bills are more likely to log in to resolve customer-service-related account issues as well. Credit card issuers receive a cost benefit from customers who use the Web for account management and customer service.

“The growth in e-servicing adoption also represents a very favorable trend for issuers who benefit from the reduced costs associated with transactions conducted online,” said Nick Tabbal, VP of comScore’s credit card division. “Significant opportunity still remains for issuers to increase awareness and further adoption of the range of account management activities available to their customers online.”

During the study period, customers who e-service their accounts increased the frequency and time spent on visits to the issuer sites. Customer visits increased by 45 percent, and time spent went up 31 percent.

The report also cites a higher level of satisfaction among cardholders who use the Internet to manage their accounts. More than 70 percent of e-service-using credit card holders expressed satisfaction with the issuer’s Web site. Though online account users are satisfied with the service, as many as half are unaware of additional services available to them on the issuer’s site.

Customer service activities available online include:

  • Order statement copies

  • Add authorized users
  • Change address
  • Set up email alerts
  • Stop paper statements
  • Resume paper statements
  • Request balance transfer
  • Request credit limit increase
  • Dispute a charge
  • Set up recurring/automatic payments (e.g., monthly cable, telephone, or health club membership bills)

The data derives from a panel of a global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given comScore explicit permission to confidentially capture browsing and transaction behavior including online and offline purchasing. Panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions.

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