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Does the relationship with your card program need a little counseling?

Feb 20, 2013 by Stacy Litke

ATM and Debit Cards. At one point the relationship was new and you focused all your attention on glossy brochures, preventing fraud and increasing transactions.

But then internet banking, and mobile banking came along, and the good old card program which surely brings you stable income, has been taken for granted.

It may be time to rekindle your relationship. Here are some tips on just how to do that:

Check the state of affairs – Any good improvement program starts by knowing where you’re at. If you’re not tracking the income and expenses of your card program, start doing that now. That way as you make changes you’ll be able to quickly gauge the results.

Reconcile (your monthly bill that is) – Don’t just pay the bill because it comes in every month. Take a good look at it, make sure that you’re being charged what you expect to be charged and that your transaction volumes are properly accounted on the bill.
 
Communicate – Ask your vendor(s) what tools and offers they have to help you increase your activity and subsequently your income. Many have marketing or rewards programs they can tell you about. And if the reconciliation exercise turned up any discrepancies, ask your vendor to work through them with you.
 
Renegotiate – If your contract is coming up for renewal, don’t be afraid to ask for a better deal. If you can clearly communicate, based on your handily executed tracking reports, what your expenses are costing you and what you need as a reduction to continue the relationship, you’ll have better success than if you just say “it’s just too expensive”.
 
Leave – In some cases it can make sense to leave the relationship. Sometimes you can get a better deal by going to another provider, and many are willing to pay your early termination fees so don’t wait until the contract is expiring. We’re also finding that network policies regarding routing can be detrimental to your bottom line. Because of that some institutions are finding benefit in reissuing their cards with a different network, especially when there are incentives on the table to do so.

Self-help tips are only as good as your willingness to give them a try. Take a look at your program with a fresh eye and see where you might need help. And, if it looks like you need the help of a professional, Northeastern Banking Services Group has recent experience with saving our clients’ money. Get in touch with us, and we’ll tell you how.

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Stacy Litke

Written by Stacy Litke

Stacy Litke is Managing Director at Northeastern Banking Services group and has nearly 30 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry with a wide net of experience, including Lending, Retail Banking, Operations, Technology Implementation, Customer Service Call Center and a strong focus on Electronic Channel Delivery. If you would like more information or are interested in having Northeastern Banking Services group perform an evaluation of your self-service channels, contact Stacy at slitke@nebsg.com Visit website: http://northeasternbankservices.com/

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