Credit and debit cards are more prevalent today than ever. That prevalence has led to evolutionary changes in how frequently consumers use them. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the change.
Fast and convenient, credit and debit cards have become the go-to payment method for consumers. Today, 70% of the U.S. population carries a credit card, with 34% of Americans carrying 3 or more cards. Those statistics are sure to climb higher, since throughout the pandemic, people have become increasingly accustomed to the “contactless” payment options credit and debit card purchases have made not only possible, but commonplace.
Evolving Landscape for Debit Card Manufacturing and Gift Card Transactions
With this growth in card use and the rising availability of both digital payment options and solutions, digital gift cards and online transactions have become increasingly more common as well, again particularly because of concerns raised and habits formed during the pandemic.
Presumably due to the pandemic, the related government stimulus programs, and Americans making use of their limited access to activities outside the home to pay down their credit card debt, the past 12 months saw a decline in consumer spending.
Those trends, though, are looking to turn around. Through 2021, economic recovery is anticipated, with consumer spending expected to rebound and at least begin heading back toward pre-pandemic levels. With a return of consumer spending, some companies are increasing their focus on consumer reward programs and experimenting with new reward options.
Merchants and banks could be turning to their credit card vendors, searching for opportunities to “win back” customers who restricted their spending over the past year. Those buyers may now feel ready to resume at least some of their old purchasing habits, and the hope is either to gain new customers or to entice existing ones to increase back to their old buying levels. RFID and NFC contactless options and the easy, streamlined transactions they offer may help those consumer purchasing numbers go up.
But as spending opportunities such as travel, eating out, sporting events, and community activities return, credit and debit card providers will need to make sure they’re reaching their target audiences with relevant offerings and incentives to capture that business and encourage spending.
Maintaining a Competitive Advantage to Reach Your Customers
How do credit card suppliers ensure they’re positioned not only to get their products in front of both existing and potential customers, but also help gift cards and promotional cards get noticed in store aisles and displays?
With more people accustomed to staying at home, direct mail is now more likely to reach your audience. Colorful and commanding direct-mail add-ons help your piece stand out from the rest of the household mail.
As local economies continue to open up and physical retail environments become destinations, creative packaging will engage those customers who are ready to spend. Combined with promoting reward programs and other offerings, Point of Sale (POS) and Point of Purchase (POP) options can position your program to capitalize on the spending or savings moment of truth to encourage a customer to act.
Competitive Advantage for Your Value
It’s equally critical to maintain competitive advantage in manufacturing credit cards and gift card promotions. New technologies, such as scratch-and-reveal or peel-and-reveal stickers, streamline or potentially eliminate your packaging obstacles and save production time and expenses. This both reduces costs to credit card vendor customers, and potentially bolsters customers’ confidence in your products’ security.
Card providers can also achieve cost savings by optimizing production. For example, with a partner like PrintFlex Graphics, you can evaluate your existing production line and identify changes that can create efficiencies and thus savings.
If your current method for running activation stickers needs changeovers after every two hours of run-time (requiring one employee and 30 minutes of system down-time to complete), recalibrating changeovers after every four hours of run-time increases productivity by approximately one hour of run-time per shift.
Scheduling is another area where you can pick up advantage in the right circumstances. Some suppliers insist on long production runs to minimize set-up and maximize their own efficiencies—meaning shorter production runs are often deprioritized. Production shops that maintain a “job shop” operational approach are typically more nimble and flexible in setting up and accommodating multiple runs of any size during a shift, resulting in significantly shorter—better—turnaround time for customer jobs and delivering to your customers sooner.
Your Expert Support Team for Credit, Gift, and Loyalty Card Promotions
PrintFlex Graphics has the specialization and experience to provide the services you need to make your card program stand out for your customers. Our services include:
- Custom adhesive solutions
- Security labels (activation stickers, scratch/peel-and-reveal stickers)
- Promotion (attachment materials, direct mail, POS/POP)
- Equipment consultation to recommend solutions to optimize in-house operations
Contact Us Today About Your Credit or Gift Card Program
We have years of experience creating custom solutions for our credit card provider clients, with flexibility and creativity leading to innovative solutions that save time and money. Find out how we can help with your next card program—contact us today by email or call 800-406-7093.