Customers Give Credit to Card Companies' Web Sites

Discover, American Express and Chase are the top-three credit card companies in terms of the online experience that they provide for customers, according to a new report from Keynote Systems. The study of 2,000 prospective credit card customers looks at the online experience as prospects interact with leading credit card Web sites. It also examines the technical service levels on these sites, including overall site responsiveness and reliability. Discover has the top site in terms of the online customer experience, based on its leadership position in credit card satisfaction, an indication of consumer satisfaction with its interest rates and fees as compared to other leading cards. Discover is also considered the easiest credit card to apply for online, and the easiest company to deal with, with more than two-thirds (71 percent) of online consumers expressing this sentiment. Online consumers surveyed said that American Express has "high value" and is the most "trustworthy" brand. Survey respondents also said that the American Express site is easy for prospective card customers to explore. The American Express site also ranks highest in satisfaction in the area of online services offered. The high ranking of JP Morgan Chase's Chase site is based in part on its leadership in the area of customer support and overall credit card satisfaction, according to the report. Those sites providing the best online site experience also perform well in attracting new customers, according to Keynote. Chase, American Express and Citibank top the Keynote Customer Acquisition Index, which measures which sites are doing the most effective job of acquiring customers online. Approximately 30 percent of prospective customers visiting the Chase, Citibank, and American Express sites indicated they were very likely or extremely likely to sign up for a credit card account with those companies. Comparatively, the bottom ranked sites registered only 16 percent of the prospects visiting their site as being interested in a card. More than half (52 percent) of study participants indicated that online account management services were very important or extremely important in their selection of a new credit card account. This represents an increase of nearly 8 percent in the number of online consumers naming online account management an essential factor in their card selection considerations, as compared to last year's study. Only 8 percent of online consumers in the study said that online account services were not very or not at all important in their selection process. Consumers also are increasingly interested in cash-back programs offered by credit card companies, with 39 percent of online consumers expressing an interest in these programs, almost on par with the 41 percent who consider travel rewards programs a key factor in their card selection process. "Although the online channel has not traditionally been where consumers apply for cards, credit card sites and online services do have a major impact on consumer decisions," says Bonny Brown, director of research and public services at Keynote Systems. "The impact of card sites on consumer decisions and behavior is steadily increasing, and card companies need to sit up and take notice." Related articles: Online Credit Card Branding Is Weak
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