Co-branded credit cards are rapidly evolving. Pressure from regulators on “interchange” fees is putting pressure on the credit card networks to reduce the fees they charge, which is beneficial for merchants, but not for those trying to offer large rewards for airline & travel co-branded cards. British Airways recently offered 100,000 Avios Points to consumers for opening its U.S. card, where interchange fees are higher, but the richest we have seen in the UK market place is 35,000 points, as interchange fees are generally lower in Europe.
There is also pressure on co-branded cards from cash-strapped consumers who are turning increasingly to pre-paid cards. Growth in pre-paids is also being driven by innovation, an example of which is the One Smart Card from Air New Zealand. The Kiwi airline put 1 million prepaid cards in to the hands of customers as a joint pre-paid/Frequent Flyer card that allows consumers to load money in various currencies onto their Frequent Flyer card, reducing or eliminating the foreign exchange fees charged by many cards to consumers when they make purchases abroad.
These developments and many others will be discussed at the Co-brand Partnerships EMEA Conference in London on 23/24th of October 2012.
The Co-Brand Partnerships EMEA Conference is the event to find out what is happening in the airline & travel co-branded credit card space in Europe, Middle East and Africa. As good information and up-to-date market insight is essential for innovation and decision-making, we are delighted that The Nilson Report is our media partner for this event. The Nilson Report is the essential place to go for a comprehensive view of everything in the co-brand and consumer payments market with statistics not available elsewhere.
Please visit the Nilson Report website to receive a sample of the service and see for yourself. I am sure you’ll agree it is an excellent resource.
We look forward to seeing you in London next week.
Michael Smith, Managing Partner, Airline Information