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Report #380 | | Members | Sign In

Linking Member Satisfaction to Credit Card Decisions: A Wallet Allocation Rule Approach

Members use their credit union credit cards differently than their bank credit cards. In this report we analyze the key drivers behind share for credit union–issued credit cards and how credit unions can translate satisfaction into growth.

  • Lerzan Aksoy Dean & Professor of Marketing at Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University
  • Timothy Keiningham Chief Strategy and Client Officer at Rockbridge Associates

Executive Summary 

What’s in your wallet? More importantly, what’s in your members’ wallets?

Knowing how many cards they have and how they use them is essential for understanding. If you’re much like your members, you have more than three credit cards, and you probably have very specific reasons for using each.The year 2014 was an impressive one for credit card growth rates in the credit union system. Credit card balances grew 8.6% to $46.5 billion (B). Moreover, the industry grew 7.7% by adding 1.2 million active credit cards.

These outstanding growth rates clearly demonstrate that credit unions have advantages over their bank competitors for a significant number of credit union members. Yet, credit cards are an area of competitive weakness for credit unions. In fact, the top seven card issuers account for approximately 75% of all credit card purchases made in the United States. None of the top issuers is a credit union. Additionally, credit cards are an area with very high multi- brand (i.e., multi- card) usage.