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Capturing the Affluent Consumer in the New Economic Environment (Australia)

By Nitin Sumangali

Australia is one of the most developed payments markets globally, with a long history of credit card expansion and profitability.

However, recent changes make continued growth along the current trajectory questionable, if not unlikely. Banks are aware of this prospective decline, and many have responded with initiatives to improve customer relationships and enhance profitability through cross-sell.

MasterCard believes that moving beyond cross-sell to integrated solution design can tie consumers to suites of products in ways that make it far more difficult for competitors to successfully cross-sell their products to your customers. With their higher deposits and savings, the affluent are a prime target for these initiatives.

One of the most attractive bundles a bank can offer its primary account holders is an integrated cash management solution that includes a combination of credit and debit cards, along with financial management tools that provide them with a clear and complete picture of household finances. The ability to better track and manage finances is a powerful motivator to consumers, even affluent ones. Expanding relationships with primary account holders to include all payments and lending products—and the holistic view this provides—is invaluable to banks.

1. DataMonitor, State of the Nation, November 2009.

Since 2004, credit card borrowing has grown significantly faster than spending
Credit Card Monthly Transaction Balances and Value

Source: Reserve Bank of Australia, Credit Statistics, 2010.