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White paper addresses photo card customization
DES MOINES, Iowa (8/8/12)--Cardholders aren't the only ones with choices in photo card programs, according to a new white paper issued by The Members Group (TMG). Issuers, too, can craft programs tailored to meet the different strategic objectives of their individual card portfolios, wrote Konrad Christensen,  TMG retail payments product manager.

"Credit unions and community banks across the country have rolled out photo cards in a variety of card programs, from credit to prepaid--all in the name of offering choice," wrote Christensen.

The paper explores four areas that provide issuers with strategic choices. They include:

  • Cardholder behavior. Initiating a photo cards program can have far-reaching impact. Beyond offering choice to draw in more members or to create affinity , photo cards can help attain different, more portfolio-specific goals. For instance, credit union hoping to increase income can offer photo cards free to debit cardholders who sign for their purchases at least five times per month, thus encouraging higher revenue behavior.
  • Fees. The unique member base of each card-issuing credit union has its own threshold for fees. Photo cards offer issuers the flexibility to determine whether the product works best as a completely free service, a value-add for certain cardholders or a fee-based program.
  • Image libraries. Although frequently referred to as "photo card" programs, many customizable plastic services offer other options, such as company logos for small-business cardholders. While some cardholders may appreciate the ability to customize, they may not have photography skills or access to a large library of personal images. They may prefer to select their custom image from a catalogue of striking images.
  • Approval procedures. Issuers and cardholders must follow rules in generating customized plastic. These include adherence to copyright and trademark guidelines, which can be challenging when cardholders seek to upload images that include logos of their favorite sports teams, for example. Issuers often have the option to assign approval of cardholder-uploaded images to a partner, said TMG.


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