Please provide a list of 5-10 credit card trend stats.

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Please provide a list of 5-10 credit card trend stats.

The world is moving away from cash and towards debit and credit cards, both offering permanent access to funds either owned by the user or the bank, and removing the need to carry cash in large amounts. With the rise in popularity and competition in these markets, there will be several identifiable trends in the credit card market in 2018.

More Branded Cards

The first trend is that there will be an increase in the number of branded cards released by companies that are not banks. In 2017, there was the release of the Amazon Prime Visa and the Starbucks Visa was announced. It is rumored that Lyft has similar plans and more companies will undoubtedly follow suit if this idea is a success. This will increase options for consumers and is important because competition will increase.

Increase in Benefits

The second trend is that credit and debit cards will offer better and more benefits for consumers’ use. As the competition in this industry rises, more companies will offer rewards such as zero interest for the introductory period, first class upgrades, and other free and upgraded experiences/products. There has also been a trend towards simple cash-back rewards, instead of these other benefits, and these schemes were popular in 2017. These will provide incentives to join a particular program or even have multiple cards to maximize the benefit.

Focus on Customer Loyalty

The third trend is that card companies will focus on retaining their customers. As stated above, there is increased competition in this industry and so the pressure to keep the existing market share has risen. To do this, processes may be simplified, information made more available, and other methods to make their products more appealing over the long-term. This will provide more focus on customers and their wishes.

Focus on Security

The fourth trend is that there will be a focus on security. High-profile data breaches in the past few years have drawn attention to this and companies are trying to reassure their customers. Credit score monitoring, anti-identity theft resources, and fraud protection are being applied to protect consumers, and provide additional benefits. Smartphones may be utilized in this regard, to corroborate the location of purchases with the owner of the card and prevent fraud in that manner. This is important as it will increase consumer confidence and may reassure them.

Higher Debt

Debt is higher than it has been since the 2008 Recession, recently surpassing $1 trillion USD in the United States alone. This trend shows no sign of slowing and so the debt is expected to increase in 2018 and beyond. Holiday debt is at $43 billion USD, a rise of 6% from the previous year. Interest rates are also set to rise in the US, increasing the difficulty of repaying loans. This will add additional pressure onto consumers who are in debt. This has been exacerbated in some case by the bitcoin craze; 18% of investors have been borrowing on credit cards to by cryptocurrency and 22% could not then repay the cost. 90% of investors plan to repay their credit cards with profits from investing in bitcoin, which will be impossible if it crashes.

Higher Interest

The sixth trend is that it will be harder to pay off loans in 2018 as interest rates rise. The Federal Reserve in the US is set to raise a benchmark interest rate by 0.75% which will immediately boost already-high interest rates on credit cards. This is expected to add over $7 billion USD in interest alone, and will make it more difficult for consumers to pay off debt. This may offset the other trends with regard to growth, and consumers will gravitate towards cards with lower interest.

Technological Advancements

The seventh and final trend identified is that technology will be increasingly incorporated into the process of using a credit or debit card. Facial recognition security and similar measures will replace the use of signatures and add security to the process. These may replace credit cards altogether; instead of the plastic rectangle, the consumer’s face will be linked to their account instead. China has begun to implement a system similar to this.

An important recent trend for credit cards is the use of biometric technology for the prevention of fraud. Multiple companies, including Visa, are preparing to launch cards with biometric verification. These cards will eliminate the need for using a PIN and use biometric verification instead.

Conclusion

The trends in 2018 will be towards increased competition in the credit card industry with new players entering. There will be an increased focus on customers and rewards to keep them loyal to a particular brand. At the same time, technology will be integrated into the industry and provide increased security as well as usability for consumers. A negative trend is the increase in interest that will appear in 2018 and the additional financial pressure that will be put onto customers.

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