Promotional offers drive competition in the credit card industry: IBISWorld
Increased competition in the credit card industry has benefitted customers, who now have access to a variety of promotional offers including interest-free periods, honeymoon periods and balance transfer deals.
While these offers put downward pressure on provider revenue, according to IBISWorld the increased uptake of credit cards as a result has led to record revenue growth for credit card issuers of 2.8% over the five years through 2015-16, bolstered by annual, cash advance and other fees.
However, the credit card industry still faces a number of challenges. Weak household consumer sentiment, combined with more consumers paying down their debt, or taking advantage of interest-free periods, has led to a lower proportion of interest-generating credit card debt.
Increasing debit card use, from 34.2% to 42.5% of all payment card transactions, has provided added competition in the sector, as debit cards generally don’t charge an interest rate, and generate less revenue due to lower fees.
To tackle these challenges, credit card issuers have implemented a number of strategies to drive up the number of credit card accounts, particularly as the total value of credit card balances in Australia is set to fall. Fees are expected to become a significant source of growth, and credit card issuers are tipped to expand promotional offers and boost market expenditure to win more credit card accounts.
The introduction of new payment technologies has also boosted fee revenue for credit card administrators. Visa’s payWave and Mastercard’s payPass have increased the convenience of payment and encouraged more spending on credit and debit cards, benefitting administrators. As competition increases and newer technologies are adopted, the gradual shift to a cashless society is expected to open up further opportunities in the credit card sector.
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