The ever-growing importance of customer experience is particularly crucial in the credit card and merchant solutions industry—and how products should be designed with this in mind. The financial service providers that are getting it right are blending in-store service and support (i.e. Instant Issue cards and access to a person when you have questions) with top-notch payments technology.
 
Julie Pukas, Head of U.S. Bankcard and Merchant Services at TD Bank, told Loyalty360 that customer experience is pivotal for companies to focus on and strengthen consumer relationships.
 
“Customer experience is paramount, especially when you’re talking about products and services that impact a person’s financial well-being,” Pukas explained. “This is where we have the ability to set ourselves apart. For example, customers often have to endure long wait periods when replacing a lost or stolen credit card. TD Bank recently launched instant card issuance, allowing customers to replace credit and debit cards immediately at one of our branches. We’re constantly looking for ways to broaden our reach and make a connection with the customer. TD Bank has long been focused on in-store experience at our branches, but customers’ needs are changing. For both the credit card and merchant solutions businesses, we want to let customers interact with us on any platform, on any device and at any time.”
 
Pukas said that credit cards should be designed with the customer in mind.
 
“At TD, we focus on only designing new products and offerings that address a clear need or solve a specific customer problem,” she said. “Data and analytics play a critical role in determining what your customers need most. For example, we recently revamped our TD Cash Card by utilizing data on consumers spending habits to determine how consumers could most benefit from cash back rewards. After incorporating customer feedback in the design of the card, TD increased the rewards program from 2 percent to 3 percent cash back for every dollar spent on dining, and added a new accelerated category with 2 percent cash back at grocery stores. The card also offers 1 percent cash back for all other purchases. TD’s new Business Solutions Card offers a similarly tiered system, providing the most cash back for costly business expenses such as phone, Internet, and cable services.”
 
What’s more, Pukas said TD Bank doesn’t want to create something just because “it is shiny and new. It has to match a customer need. We stay really closely connected with our customers and how they use our products to serve them best. Customer loyalty and rewards are becoming more important to customers in terms of how they research, select, and utilize their credit cards. To that end, we’ve focused on improving our digital and mobile rewards experiences to drive deeper customer engagement and an enhanced customer experience.”
 
Successful financial services providers focus on engagement and education, Pukas noted.
 
“They keep the customer engaged by maintaining an experience that works for them—be it self-service, in-person, or digital-first options,” she explained. “They also focus on educating customers by delivering relevant, forward-thinking content across every customer-facing channel. With so many different channels at their fingertips, customers tend to interact with those they feel the most comfortable with. For some, that may mean opting for more traditional service channels like phone or in-store support. For many, digital options are increasingly becoming the preferred option. Digital remains critically important and card providers must continue to invest in digital enhancements and build digital IQ among customers, but the traditional support models will continue to play an important role in the customer experience.”
 

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