Card marketing and production company Arroweye believes issuers are sitting on a ton of user data that can be used to quickly distribute personalized cards that carry pinpoint marketing messages.

The Chicago-based company recently launched CustomerConnect, an integrated technology that combines Arroweye’s digital on-demand technology with existing customer data streams to build one-to-one card messaging and marketing programs that speaks directly to a consumer’s needs, lifestyle and interests.

"Issuers have numerous forms of information and intelligence about their customers," says Render Dahiya, Arroweye’s president and CEO, who contends prevailing distribution methods in the card industry doesn’t take full advantage of that data in targeting specific consumers.

To use CustomerConnect, card issuers leverage existing data streams such as customer spending habits, demographics, purchase history and geographic locations or payments to produce card design or marketing content that is printed directly on a card or card carrier. That combination can aid card loyalty marketing and the personalization of the actual cards, Dahiya says.

"The static systems set up a card type and leave it that way. If you want to target you have to reprogram the system, which can take time. Our model is you send the data to us to insert information to differentiate your cards," he says.

These messages have a better chance of resonating with the card user than a general affinity card or mass mailing, Arroweye contends.

"That design can be based on anything the issuer wants the design to be," Dahiya says, adding the deep personalization of the cards can also be combined with targeted production so certain designs or programs aren’t over-produced.

Arroweye’s "on-demand" production, which is approved by MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express, simultaneously prints, manufactures, personalizes and fulfills cards in a single automated process, meaning cards get personalized at the time of fulfillment.

"You can build specific card designs and combine the distribution of those designs with card inventory risk," Dahiya says.

Arroweye hasn't named any issuers that are using the new marketing program, but noted its mix of cardholder data and on-demand cardholder product was used as part of a SF Global program to reach unbanked consumers in Oakland, Calif.

SF Global issues prepaid cards that offer financial services such as payments, and identification and other access management functions. Prepaid card provider Praxell and ID management company ABnote were Arroweye’s partners on the Oakland project. In the case of the Oakland prepaid cards, the cardholder data such as name, address, age, and headshot were used to produce the hyper-customized cards.

Arroweye also hopes to use its technology to aid issuers in managing card inventory for the EMV migration by allowing chip cards to be issued quickly and personalized for card users, Dahiya says.

A number of payment companies are attempting to use cardholder and payments data to produce more tailored marketing pitches. Cardytics has partnered with Facebook to add social media to its loyalty and marketing program; and Truaxis has added location-based data and other purchasing information to its special offers engine.

While purchase streams and personal information can be helpful in targeting card programs and marketing, the data only tells part of the story about a consumer’s preferences and spending habits, says Ron Shevlin, a senior analyst at Aite Group.

"The data takes a look the purchase stream of a particular cardholder, but it’s not a look at the total spend for the customer," Shevlin says, adding that limited view can result in an offer that’s related to only that card or a specific purpose, which could leave holes in narrative between the card issuer and consumer.

"The issuers aren’t getting a broad view of what the customer is actually purchasing, or a broad context…Even if someone is using a card for 90% of purchase, you still won’t be able to see a full picture."

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