The credit card industry in the UK is well developed with an estimated 30 million people, or 60% of the adult population, using 63 million cards. In 2014 a total of £166 billion was spent on credit cards, a figure expected to rise to £183 billion by 2024.1
Credit card transactions continue to grow year on year, reflecting both a confidence in the economy and the value that consumers place on the flexibility of using credit cards. Research conducted by the UK Cards Association in 2014 found that 86% of cardholders have a high satisfaction with their credit cards, citing security and ease of use as key reasons for this.In 2014, approximately 21.4 million people used their credit cards to make regular purchases each month with the average number of purchases each year standing at 69 and the average annual spend being just under £4,000 per card holder.2
Consumers choose to use credit cards for a variety of purposes that reflect their individual preferences and financial circumstances. The primary reasons include making large purchases such as holidays, everyday spending and to build credit history.
Given this breadth of use, a diverse amount of credit card products have been created to best suit consumers’ needs. Such products include low-rate, credit builders, balance transfer and reward cards. Many customers choose to have several cards to best reflect their needs, with 46% of holders owning two or more cards.3
Providers of credit cards range from banks and building societies to businesses that focus on operating in one specific financial area. Each provider tends to focus on particular products and customer segments according to their own strategy and risk appetite.
Research from PwC estimates that the targetable UK Near Prime credit card market is between 10.2 and 13.6 million consumers. While the credit needs of Near Prime customers vary according to their specific circumstances, they have often been overlooked by traditional lenders, particularly since the financial crisis. It may be the case that they are new to credit, have an adverse credit history (for example they may have missed some payments in the past), or have some other constraint which prevents them accessing mainstream credit (for example they may have an inconsistent address history).
The credit crisis and subsequent legislation led to mainstream lenders reviewing their underwriting standards, putting credit out of reach for many customers seeking to establish or rebuild their credit history. This has created an opportunity for more specialised lenders such as NewDay whose deep market knowledge, product portfolio and purpose is focused on helping customers build, or rebuild, their credit records.
Co-brand cards include store cards, retail branded credit cards as well as other rewards based credit cards which incentivise use. Customers tend to use Co-branded cards based on brand affinity, the offer of discounts and loyalty points for their use, alongside more traditional drivers of credit card usage.
In the Co-brand sector, PwC estimates that the targetable market in the UK is between 14.6 and 20.9m consumers. Over one million new customers apply each year for our Co-brand products that offer rewards for loyalty to a particular brand. There has been a lack of traditional lenders in this sector who invest and develop products and services that are appropriately aligned to customers’ needs. NewDay believes that Co-brand products are integral to customers’ shopping experiences, strengthening their relationships with our partners by making customers feel special, recognised and rewarded for their loyalty.
1 UK Cards Association: UK Card Payments (2015)
2 UK Cards Association: UK Card Payments (2015)
3 FCA: Credit card market study: interim report (November 2015)