Report: Online Credit Card Seekers Carry More Debt

Online credit card seekers carry more debt, are more ethnically diverse and
more receptive to online branding than the general online population,
according to a new study.

Online credit card seekers are also younger, primarily male, and more likely
to carry larger balances than other segments such as online traders, the
study from Cyber Dialogue, an Internet customer
relationship management company, found. Already, 9.8 million Americans have
shopped for credit cards through the Internet.

Online credit card seekers are especially attractive because nearly half of
them (4.3 million) have applied for a credit card directly online,
potentially reducing the cost of acquisition to online credit card issuers
Cyber Dialogue said.

Online credit card applicants also have a particularly high conversion rate,
as more than half of those who applied on the Web (2.2 million) ultimately
acquired and began actively using the credit card they obtained online.

The survey found that 35 percent of online credit card seekers are in the
ethnic minority, in comparison to 20 percent of the general online adult
population. Credit card seekers carry an average balance of more than $3,100,
nearly $1,000 more than the general online population.

“Credit card companies are missing an opportunity to acquire potentially
valuable lifetime customers by overlooking such largely untapped groups as
ethnic minorities,” said Sam Callard, a financial analyst for Cyber
Dialogue’s Internet Strategies Group.

“One of the great benefits of the
Internet is its ability to reduce the cost and risk of one-to-one targeting
of these kinds of small, high-potential customer segments.”

The survey also found that credit card seekers are more demanding credit card
customers than the general online population. They are especially concerned
about low interest rates and the reputation of the credit card company.
Ninety percent of online credit card seekers list low interest rates as an
important feature of a card and 83 percent list a trusted institution.

general online population is a third less likely to cite these two factors as

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