Credit Card Issuers get CRM

Pegasystems Inc., which develops business process software, earlier this week re-entered the credit card services market by unveiling an application that automates credit card processing functions. Called PegaCARD Customer Care, the scalable customer service software is part of the PegaCARD Services suite of products and an evolution of Pegasystems' card services technology first made available in 1989. Over the last 13 years Pegasystems has helped major card issuers process more than 230 million cards. The Cambridge, MA-based company says it has 18 percent of the global market. PegaCARD integrates front and back office applications to create a single portal for managing customer requests. Customer service representatives are given a holistic view of a customer's account, which enables multichannel customer service and collections, dispute and chargeback management, along with credit, fraud, and correspondence management. Pegasystems officials claim a single customer view also helps reduce training time, shortens call times, and helps to personalize customer service. The company's latest offering, designed for card issuers that issue between 1.5 and 25 million cards per year, includes 17 preconfigured workflows. Those workflow templates provide straight-through processing for nearly 90 percent of service requests, including account and transaction inquiries, change of address requests, credit management and autoprocessing of disputes and chargeback queries. Still, the application has a flexible architecture that allows business rules to be modified and changed. Credit cards are big business and managing them is complex, considering attrition rates are running about 17 percent and net card growth is about 7 percent, annually. This means roughly 98 million cards are cancelled by the cardholder or by the bank. Also, there were about 50 million net new cards issued last year. This suggests that somewhere near 150 million cards were issued last year. And on average Americans owe about $8,000 per household on all credit cards, according to the Web site Cardweb.com Inc.
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