Bank of America credit card production by channel: interesting trends

Bank of America recently published a breakdown of its credit card production by channel, in its second quarter 2011 Investor Fact Book.

Comparing the first half of 2011 with the full-year 2010, we see that eCommerce remains the most important credit card acquisition channel (at just over 28%), but its share fell almost 8 percentage points between 2010 and the first half of 2011.

Channels that have had the strongest share gain are:

  • Branch:  Bank of America was at the forefront of the push among leading bank card issuers to sell cards through their branches in the mid 2000’s, but this trend appeared to have lost traction in more recent years, as the financial crisis took hold.  However, there was a notable shift in the first half of this year, with branches accounting for 28% of credit card production, up more than 7 percentage points from 2010.
  • Direct mail: Traditionally, direct mail accounted for an overwhelming share of credit card production.  However, this share plummeted over the past decade, as response rates fell and new channels emerged with lower average acquisition costs.  However, this decline appears to have bottomed out, with bank card issuers now rolling out targeted direct mail campaigns to specific segments of interest, such as affluents.  DM accounted for 24% of card production in the first half of 2011, up 3.5 percentage points from 2010.