Banking Web 2.0 – How the major card issuers look at Social Media phenomenon?

“We watched various brands and companies within our industry and elsewhere struggle, sometimes fail, to achieve their objective, which is always to get closer to the customer, to know more, to create a relationship” – Mike Boush, Vice President of E-Business, Discover Financial Services

The market’s major card brands issuers search all the time new ways of using social media sites to capture market intelligence and to promote their products and services. In the traditional marketing and advertising they couldn’t interact with customers so the social media sites are like the Alladin’s lamp fulfilling their wishes about finding out how the customers think. US Magazine Payments Source published this year an analysis of the way how the major card issuers are using social media to build awareness and sales.

Discover started the web 2.0 journey with the “Insider Discover” blog offering advices to consumers. Among the subjects were covered: mobile applications for account management, tips on choosing card designs, rewards and terms, student loans. Discover created another blog “I Love Cashback Bonus” where cardholders share tales about how they spent their rewards. Both blogs were started in 2009 and linked with the Discovery Facebook page;

MasterCard focused on Facebook through “The MasterCard Priceless Gift Finder” which used FB Connect to suggest presents for users’ families and friends. Through “Priceless Pick” the consumers can list their favorite restaurants, tourist sites and travel tips. “Priceless Pointers” is a source for financial advice. All three were launched in 2009. MasterCard launched also separately “Easy Savings” which offers small business rebates on purchases and operates independently of the other three.

“Visa Small-Business Network” was started in 2008 and 15% of the content is provided by users. Half of the content is provided by Visa’s third party partners and the rest is produced by Visa internally. Also Visa integrated Youtube, Facebook and TV advertising in Go World 2010 Olympic Winter Games promotions.

American Express
American Express used social media in the near past to configure the features of the new Zync charge card for young adults. The brand created its online community and will market the card through Facebook. Amex’s “Open Forum” offers a tool to help entrepreneurs market their businesses, find vendors and build relationships. “The Pulse”, another Open feature brings together information from the microblogging platform Twitter.

Barclaycard U.S. helped U.S. Airways sign up frequent fliers this year with a Facebook game called the “Miles Away Challenge”. JPMorgan Chase & Co asked Facebook users to vote on what small charities should receive donations.

The preferred platforms for the major card issuers are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin , Youtube and blogging.

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