2015 – YEAR OF THE CHIP CARD

Issuers have been converting to chip/EMV technology to thwart the ever-increasing occurrence of card fraud. But how do cardholders view the introduction of chip/EMV credit cards? Most see them as an improvement over their current card usage, according to a recent survey by SYNERGISTICS Research entitled, Chip Cards: The Consumer Perspective. More than three-quarters of credit card holders see chip/EMV credit cards as an improvement over how they currently use credit cards. More than one-third see them as “very much” an improvement. This top-box perception tends to peak among those ages 35 to 64 and those with household income of $75K to $99.9K. This perception is relatively unchanged from 2012, when eight in ten indicated chip/EMV credit cards would be an improvement and close to half said “very much” an improvement.

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Genie M. Driskill, COO of SYNERGISTICS, stated, “A significant number of consumers view chip/EMV credit cards as an improvement over current credit cards. It looks like 2015 is shaping up to be the year of the chip card in the U.S. card and payments market. This encouraging perspective on the part of consumers indicates that providers should encounter little resistance as the cards are rolled out. However, although consumers are positive toward chip cards, their viewpoint has not improved in the past few years. This suggests that further education and promotion continues to be needed as providers issue the cards. As providers continue to issue and reissue cards with chips, the response by consumers will be even stronger.”

These are among the findings from SYNERGISTICS study, Chip Cards: The Consumer Perspective, featuring 1,000 online interviews with consumers age 18 or older. This study examines the consumer reaction to chip cards including their perceived advantages and disadvantages. Consumer reaction to contactless payments is also addressed.

HISPANICS ARE USING BANKING CHANNELS “CON ENTUSIASMO”

Hispanic consumers use a wide variety of channels for banking activities, according to a recent survey by SYNERGISTICS Research entitled, Financial Services and Hispanic Consumers. When asked to identify the method they most prefer to use for performing financial activities, the responses of Hispanic consumers were somewhat fragmented among a variety of different channels. One-third reported a preference for PC online banking. Mobile banking was found to surpass ATMs and the branch as a favored banking method. Few Hispanic consumers prefer telephone contact and tablet banking. In looking at the responses of non-Hispanics, it is found that PC banking is clearly the top choice. Among non-Hispanics, the branch is tied with mobile banking for second place whereas the branch is in fourth place among Hispanics.

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William H. McCracken, CEO of SYNERGISTICS, stated, “Hispanic consumers are strong channel users. Findings from our survey reveal that usage of branches, ATMs, PC banking, and mobile banking is significant. Because of these strong usage patterns, Hispanic consumers are fragmented when asked to identify one preferred banking method. When targeting the Hispanic population it is essential that providers promote the variety of available channel options at their institution. PC and mobile banking in particular should get special emphasis as these two options are the top two channel choices for financial activities. Although the branch falls behind PC and mobile banking or ATMs when Hispanic respondents are forced to choose a preferred channel, this does not mean the branch is not an important channel for this group. Hispanics exhibit strong branch usage and it is an important point of contact with this group that should not be neglected.”

These are among the findings from SYNERGISTICS study, Financial Services and Hispanic Consumers, featuring 1,000 online interviews – 800 with self-identified Hispanic consumers and 200 with Non-Hispanic consumers for comparison purposes. This study examines the attitudes and financial services profile of the Hispanic market. The report also examines issues related to usage of delivery channels and marketing financial services to this growing segment. SYNERGISTICS Research Corp. will discuss these findings during a client presentation on November 16th at 2p.m.