Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chase Card Innovation Gives More Control to Customers

Last September, Chase Bank introduced Chase Blueprint, an innovative set of features that improves the way customers can manage their credit cards with tools to pay down balances, manage spending and pay off major purchases. Available at no charge to more than 20 million consumer and small business Chase credit card customers, Blueprint is fully integrated into the account and consists of four unique features that Chase calls Full Pay, Split, Finish It, and Track It.

The components of Blueprint provide the following benefits:

  • Full Pay: The customer can set aside which charges they want to pay off in full on any given month and avoid paying interest on those items (groceries)
  • Split: Lets the customer select the number of payments or monthly payment amount for things like large purchases (appliance or home improvement)
  • Finish It: Simply select a date that a customer wants to pay off a purchase and Chase does the math to determine the monthly payment and provides charts to show progress
  • Track It: Provides the ability to see spending by category online on demand as opposed to annually like most card companies.
According to Caryn Kaiser, Senior Vice President from Chase, the Split feature has the highest levels of customer satisfaction since the introduction of the program. The Track It feature has also resonated with affluent customers who want to know where their dollars are going.

The development of Blueprint arose out of customer research that showed that consumers usually hold multiple credit cards for specific purposes. It is hoped that by offering this capability within one card, consolidation of balances will occur and retention will improve.

While other banks may try to follow Chase's lead, this integrated set of credit card benefits do not seem easy to replicate, giving Chase a 'first mover' advantage. I also expect Chase to follow-up this innovation with similar innovation on the debit card side around rewards, alerts and tracking of purchases. The timing of these changes will most likely coincide with the massive media attention around Regulation E.

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