Monday, July 16, 2007

Credit Cards and Culture reports on a CityBank Study on Credit Card Payments and Usage. Intrestingly, the real point here was that their are actual cultural differences in how people want to use their card, and what rewards they want to receive from them.
Culture's influence Citibank's report highlights the role culture plays when it comes to choosing a credit card. In some countries the appearance of a card is key and represents status, but in others discounts and rebates are the main attraction. In Australia the interest rate is the number one feature, in South Korea it's low fees and in Malaysia and China it's security features and fraud prevention that tops the list. The loyalty reward Cash rebates were the preferred type of reward in relation to loyalty and reward programmes with a 57% response. Second was discounts on products and services at 12%. Numerous questions were asked in relation to the future of credit cards. When asked if credit cards could double as a form of personal ID, India and China were most in favour, with "strongly agree" responses of 47% and 43% respectively. Australians and Malaysians were most opposed with 33% and 43% respectively saying they 'strongly disagreed'. The option of using a credit card to pay taxes was met with most enthusiasm in South Korea and China where 53% and 41% respectively said they strongly agreed. However, 38% of Australians said they strongly disagreed with the idea
It certainly opens out the potential to create niche cultural services based on the implicit value of the Credit Card as an ID Validation Mechanism. Of course the same thing could be said of PayPal and Google if they went that extra step to offer you a Payments Card valid at any store that used/integrated Google Checkout into their online/offline presence. Now what if, when you walked into a store, and Google Checkout/Analytics knew that "this store" had a "special offer on Nike", and you, the customer, had recently been browsing for new sneakers, would it not make sense to push an offer to you AND enable you to pay for it right there with Google Points?

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