Magazine article American Banker

Internet Seen as Marketing Gold for Cobranders

Magazine article American Banker

Internet Seen as Marketing Gold for Cobranders

Article excerpt

A New Jersey-based marketing consultant is urging credit card banks to do much more over the Internet than simply receive applications.

Lawrence C. Smith, head of a company called Response Data Corp., is pushing issuers of cobranded cards to integrate their services with those of their marketing partners. Consumers could, for example, call into a single World Wide Web site to get instant loan approvals or check an account or frequent-flier mileage balance.

Mr. Smith, 31, who founded Response Data four years ago, said such traffic at a bank's Internet address could build brand loyalty for both the card issuer and its retail partner.

"We want to bring the consumer back to the Web site repeatedly by providing information that they would want on a consistent basis," said Mr. Smith.

"It's a very effective concept, and I wouldn't be surprised if (Response Data) gets some competition in this area," said Robert B. McKinley, president of RAM Research Group, a credit card tracking firm that recently launched a credit card information service on the Web.

Mr. Smith said at least three of the top 25 bank card issuers have agreed to work with his company to create Web sites for their cobranded programs in the first quarter.

He declined to identify the banks, because they are not yet on- line. One of the three, he said, will simultaneously launch a new card and post it on the Web. The other two banks plan to go on- line with existing cobranded programs.

Response Data, based in Lyndhurst, N.J., only recently began specializing in Internet services.

Its core business is providing card issuers with new-account processing services. Response Data manages information coming into a bank from telemarketing, direct mail, and risk-score modeling companies. Much of its growth comes from supporting balance transfer offers. …

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