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Visa Consulting & Analytics

February 2022


3 - 4 Minutes

How investing in cardholder retention drives portfolio growth

Banking has changed. Gone are the days when a customer would select a bank and commit to it for their lifetime of financial needs. In today’s competitive market, particularly when you consider the products which are easiest to switch, such as credit cards, if you have an unsatisfied customer, it is simple for them to look to your competitors and find a better deal.

After you have put in the time and money to acquire and activate cardholders, you need to put in the effort to ensure you keep them happy and retain their custom. Failing to keep these customers will not only significantly impact your revenue lines but also result in a rise in acquisition costs as you look to replenish your customer book.

Retention management has become a key pillar in driving portfolio growth, and our paper will allow you to understand its key aspects by assessing:

  • How card spend behavior and balance trends can be early indicators of attrition and inform an effective proactive retention strategy
  • The range of treatment strategies and the applicability of retention management to the digital domain
  • How retention strategies can be identified for those customers not likely to leave in the short term
  • How card issuers across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have benefitted from customized retention management modelling

So, what should you be doing to retain your customers?

Maintaining customer loyalty should sit at the very centre of every Issuer’s strategy. Our white paper outlines a two-step process to build and maintain loyalty.


Effective retention management through monitoring and identifying any signs that a customer may be likely to leave before they do so.

This proactive data-based approach gives you the best opportunity to identify the issue causing dissatisfaction and address it before it results in the customer taking their business elsewhere.


Enhancing Proposition Value by harvesting the insight that propensity to attrite modelling provides to deliver what your customer wants.

Once the signs of disengagement have been spotted, it is vital to quickly provide what the customer is looking for to re-establish the relationship and place it back on a much firmer footing.

Walter Lironi, Head of Visa Consulting & Analytics at Visa CEMEA, explains: “Customers are the lifeblood of any financial services provider, and in today’s competitive market their expectations have to be systematically matched, if not exceeded. It has been shown that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%, so the importance of customer retention must be brought into sharp focus for businesses in the banking and payments world.”1

Visa Consulting & Analytics have collaborated with some of the top card Issuers across the MENA region to devise and enable customized retention management frameworks bespoke to their business and challenges.

By leveraging Visa and your own card issuer data we can analyze spend behavior and balance trends in minute detail to identify hidden signs of disengagement and carry out attrite modelling so that you can identify and effectively target your most at risk cardholders.

In this Opinion Paper, the Visa Consulting and Analytics Team explores how debit issuers can optimize their portfolios, while driving profitability and reducing losses.

For more insights, please read our full opinion paper here. To find out how we can help you address any of the ideas discussed, please get in touch with our Visa Consulting and Analytics team.

1VCA Investing in Cardholder Retention, 2021

All brand names, logos and/or trademarks are the property of their respective owners, are used for identification purposes only, and do not necessarily imply product endorsement or affiliation with Visa.

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