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A golden opportunity for Credit Cards. Play your cards right!

December 2021

In a high-rise hotel room, a woman sits on a couch and works on her laptop PC.

For banking providers and financial aggregators, Credit Cards is a golden opportunity heading into 2022. From our intelligence, we can see that clicks for Credit Cards mirror that of 2019, which corroborates external sources citing that average UK Credit Card spend is at a 2Y high.

A chart illustrating how credit card seasonality is similar to 2019 data.

The pandemic has altered our spending behaviour. On one hand, there was pent up demand to spend money on retail, luxury, and travel. This has driven double digit month-over-month growth in brand credit cards. Unfortunately, there has also been a decline in living standards due to furlough schemes, which has led to growth in interest-free and bad credit cards. In particular, balance transfer cards have risen in popularity month-over-month (39%) as consumers adapt to the rising prices of normal goods and services. There have also been several new entrants to the market, such as Santander’s every day long term credit card, and HSBC’s interest free card.

A chart illustrating that searches containing a brand name are more likely to occur on a Windows PC.

Whilst Mobile’s share of traffic has almost doubled in 2021, we discovered that searches containing a brand name are most likely to happen on PC, as consumers are in the ‘awareness’ or ‘consideration’ phase—and against the backdrop of a volatile economic climate, brand trust is key to success.

A chart illustrating the correlation of Credit Cards to other sectors or economic indicators.

Post pandemic, we have also seen a change in consumer behaviour in the categories driving demand in credit cards. Due to pent-up consumer demand, searches for flights (air travel) have a stronger correlation in driving up demand for credit cards. Likewise, changes in people’s jobs and education status mean they are either more or less eligible for a certain type of card, which will further drive-up credit card browsing.

A chart showing how MSAN clients saw their conversion market share increase 5.1 times on decision journeys that contain Microsoft Advertising Network.

Finally, our research showed that clients complimenting their performance search activity with audience ads that nudge consumers into completing a purchase, saw their market share increase 5.1x. Clients active on the Microsoft Audience Network have a longer decision journey.

All these insights make us quite excited to announce the coming launch of Credit Card Ads for Microsoft Advertising. This capitalises on the increasing demand, and provides a visual display for brands and providers to share their cards with consumers. This is an entirely separate auction to normal search, thus providing another growth inventory. From our US pilot performance, we’ve already seen this format deliver a +46% CVR and -70% CPA. They will drive higher volume, provide a rich experience, with stronger intent matching whilst saving time with automation.

We recently discussed the main trends in a webcast you can listen to on demand here. This is what you will find for your business:

  • Insights evaluate the impact of the pandemic on consumer behaviours (2021 vs 2019);
  • Statistical analysis to understand the impact of other categories—particularly travel on consumer demand for credit cards:
    • We found that since the pandemic started, there is a stronger correlation between the demand for credit cards & travel: as demand for travel increases, so does demand for credit cards;
    • We also found a strong correlation between the jobs & education sector.
  • Our multi-touch attribution model analyses the impact all channels have in driving conversions:
    • We found that Email & Native, in addition to Search Engine Marketing, play fundamental roles in driving conversions—amplifying the need for a multi-channel marketing strategy;
    • We also found that when using Microsoft Advertising Network versus search only, consumer journeys were longer, giving advertisers the opportunity to influence a different type of consumer.

This is a golden opportunity for credit cards. It’s all about playing your cards right! If you’d like to learn more about this opportunity for banking providers and financial aggregators, Watch the on-demand webinar.

Phil Jones

Phil Jones
Senior Analytics Lead
Microsoft

Hashim Syed

Hashim Syed
Client Partner Lead
Microsoft

 Watch the on-demand webinar