Magazine article American Banker

1st Data Technology Lets Issuers Enhance Customer Relations

Magazine article American Banker

1st Data Technology Lets Issuers Enhance Customer Relations

Article excerpt

Advancing the customer-relationship management movement, First Data Resources is offering credit card issuers a processing technology designed to give cardholders new capability to customize and link card accounts.

The Omaha-based credit card processor said its Relationship Processing technology, with three patents pending, will help issuers to retain cardholders as they deal with marriage, college, or the Internet.

"Strategically, every bank in America is looking into customer relationship strategies and how (they can) 'household' various products," said Michael Auriemma, president of Auriemma Consulting Group of Westbury, N.Y. First Data's product "takes relationship processing to another level," he said.

The Relationship Processing tool, tested over the last few months with three undisclosed issuers, is being pitched to all 1,400 First Data issuers. It allows members of a household to maintain separate but linked accounts and realize the benefits of both, said Jeff Price, senior vice president of marketing for First Data Resources. The company is a unit of First Data Corp., which is based in Atlanta.

Such features can help issuers avoid having their services viewed as commodities, with competition taking place only on the basis of credit limits, interest rates, and minimum payments, he said. "This provides them the ability to add value to the relationship; it's not just lending money," Mr. Price said.

The technology allows customers to shift credit lines as their needs change. For example, rather than opening an entire $10,000 credit line to a college student, parents could have a linked account with a $1,000 credit cap that would be included in the $10,000. Over time, the parameters of the account could be changed without issuing a new card. …

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