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Frequently Asked Questions

Starting a direct issue credit card program? Have questions about getting the most out of your existing program? Find out how the experts at ICBA Bancard can help.

How do I compete with large national banks who issue credit cards to anyone and everyone?
A. Easy! Partner with ICBA Bancard for the best pricing, programs and consultative support in the industry. As the payments services subsidiary of Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), we have a vested interest in helping you grow your business. Your community bank’s success is our success. Plus, you have an edge because studies show that your customers would prefer doing all their banking with their local community bank.


We’ve had a credit card program in the past that wasn’t profitable. Why should I consider offering a credit card program now, and what resources are available to me?
A. ICBA Bancard and its partner FIS have consultants who are poised to help you improve your portfolio’s profitability. We offer a Web-based automated portfolio development tool to help you analyze rates and fees. Bancard also sponsors Visa- and MasterCardbranded credit card acquisition campaigns throughout the year. Even if the credit card program is a break-even venture, it is an important transaction account for your most profitable customers and therefore an important product for you to offer.


What resources are available to help me calculate how much money my program is making and how I could make improvements?
A. ICBA Bancard’s Web-based Automated Card Expert (ACE) portfolio development tool allows you to quickly estimate how a change in your annual percentage rate or other fees would translate to revenue. Effortlessly review your portfolios, compare peer data, process reports for management and run simulation scenarios for a clearer, more detailed picture of your bank’s program performance.


Our program is outsourced to a provider and they handle all the details. Do you have anything like that?
A. Absolutely! Participants in our Total Card Management® program can offer customers a credit card while we do the heavy lifting. Our zero liability option allows community banks to offer your customers credit cards and assumes all of the risk associated with credit card issuing. Another option, Participation Plus, offers the same professional management as the zero liability option with the opportunity to participate in the receivables and receive a greater revenue stream in exchange for shared liability. Every credit card issued through the Total Card Management program features the name and logo of your community bank.


How can my bank reward our best customers with a competitive credit card rewards program?
A. ICBA Bancard’s ScoreCard® Rewards program is a cost-effective way for your bank to increase profits, acquire new customers and retain current customers. Customers can redeem points for travel rewards such as cruises, airline tickets, car rentals and hotel accommodations, or select from an array of name brand merchandise.


Issuing credit cards involves taking on risk. Why would I want to issue credit cards now?

ICBA Bancard offers solutions compatible with every community bank’s risk tolerance, and can help take the guesswork out of credit decisions. We have a direct issuing option as well as zero or reduced liability agent credit card programs. Our Fraud Loss Protection will protect your portfolio from any losses stemming from lost or stolen cards, counterfeit cards, cards not received and identity theft.

And don’t forget one of the largest forms of risk: the risk of losing your best customers to competitors and the risk to your bank’s image by not offering today’s top payments products. All worthwhile returns have some inherent risk, but unlike underwriting a single office building, a credit card portfolio diffuses the risk across a population of cardholders.

Want to know more?
Just contact your ICBA Bancard representative today at (800) 242-4770.


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Introducing: ICBA Bancard’s Definitive Guide to Card Marketing

Looking to create a card program that gets noticed and generates profits? Your search is over. Introducing “Card Marketing for Main Street,” a comprehensive, results-oriented guide designed to help community bankers like you develop and maintain a profitable card business. Learn more.