In an increasingly digitized world, where financial tools are at our fingertips, the quest for the perfect credit card has become a meticulous process guided by strategic research. As new applicants navigate the vast landscape of credit options, a plethora of methods have emerged to aid in the pursuit of the most fitting card. From harnessing the power of online comparison tools to delving into the intricacies of terms and conditions, credit card seekers are employing an array of techniques to inform their decisions.
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Data for today’s episode is provided by Javelin Strategy & Research’s Report: Third-Party Comparison Websites: A Tried-and-True Method for Digital Marketing.
Top 6 Methods Used for Credit Card Research Among New Applicants, 2022
- 38% of new applicants use the Primary FI branch
- 25% of new applicants use the primary FI website
- 22% of new applicants use an other FI branch
- 21% of new applicants use an other FI website
- 18% of new applicants use an internet search
- 16% of new applicants use credit card comparison websites
You may not recognize the name “third-party comparison” websites (TPC), but you most likely have seen these firms operate under the trade names of Bank Rate, Credit Karma, and Credit Sesame, to name a few. Some consumers find these sites helpful as they consider new credit cards. And for credit card issuers, TPCs are a channel to book new accounts, the lifeblood of every credit card organization.
This report is concerned with the dynamic between credit card issuers and third-party comparison websites, which are sites not owned or operated by issuers that provide information about credit cards in aggregate. Through a variety of proprietary methodologies, often including an analyst team, these websites track and rate credit cards as well as several other financial products. The goal of TPC websites is to drive customers toward applications with their partners, which in turn pay these sites for their efforts in acquiring new customers. Some sites disclose their commercial relationships as issuer affiliates and receive cash bounties for new accounts. This may influence where prospective cardholders are driven or prioritize offers in favor of the partner.
TPC websites are a more robust form of affiliate marketing, and the marketplace has evolved to several large contenders. In today’s market, we found that 16% of customers use TPC in their research journey for a new card product, which is particularly skewed toward top credit card issuers.