Credit Card Risk, Protracted Pandemic, and the Household Budget: Advice for Issuers

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Credit card issuers must prepare for another COVID wave.

New Mercator Advisory Group report reveals potential risks for credit card issuers amidst a protracted pandemic.

Published on: December 23, 2021
Author: Brian Riley
Alternate Point of Contact: Amy Dunckelmann

Mercator Advisory Group released a report covering the credit card issuer risks in a world of COVID variants, titled Credit Card Risk, Protracted Pandemic, and the Household Budget: Advice for Issuers. The research explains current credit card risk and the impact on household budgets as inflation grows, interest rates increase, and the workplace continues to be disrupted.

The research explains why the latest COVID variation may affect consumers and their spending habits differently than it did in 2020.

“The economic relief programs offered by the U.S. and many other countries might be impossible if the pandemic rebounds,” comments Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory, at Mercator Advisory Group, and the author of the research note. Riley continues: “Credit card issuers must keep a keen eye on the impact of inflation, rising interest rates, and employment. Issuers underwrite with higher spreads than ever, but the interest opportunity may not be sufficient if credit losses shift.”

This document contains 20 pages and 10 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this research note include: American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi, FICO, FIS, Fiserv, Mastercard, TSYS, Visa.


Highlights of the research note include:

  • Explanation of current issues surrounding revolving debt
  • Illustration of rising consumer interest rates while the prime rate sits at 2%
  • Discussion of new credit card accounts and delinquency rates
  • Review of the household budget and the capacity to repay as interest and inflation rise
  • An action plan for credit managers

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