Analysis aids segmentation, which has quickly become the magic word in credit card marketing.
Data analytics isn’t reinventing the wheel, but rather reshaping it among credit unions such as $1.7 billion asset Spokane (Wash.) Teachers Credit Union (STCU).
Russell Palmer, STCU’s card services manager, became a proponent of business intelligence while working at a national bank. But he entered his new position without an instinct for card management, which made him keener to understand the credit union’s portfolio.
“Data analytics was my answer to getting up to speed quickly, and it has worked extremely well,” Palmer says. “We’ve learned more about our cardholders and our portfolio than we’ve ever known.”
Among the questions Palmer asked:
- Why did the credit union consider only FICO scores when extending credit line increases?
- Why was the same amount extended to every cardholder?
- Were some cardholders offended by the small-dollar extension?
- Did others who received the extension use it in a way that put themselves or the credit union at risk?
With input from IQR Consulting, TMG’s data analytics partner, Palmer’s team looks at factors such as delinquencies and write-off histories to build out more robust exclusion criteria. Armed with data and predictive analytics, Palmer’s team secured leadership buy-in to nearly double the amount of credit line increases.
“We were able to show that extra line extensions were extremely calculated risks,” Palmer says.
After a 12-month period, growth of STCU’s credit card portfolio balances stood at around 18%, compared with the historical average of 7% annually.