Private Label Credit Cards Update, 2019: New Opportunities, New Competitors -

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Program Innovations Keep Private Label Credit Cards Competitive in the Consumer Retail Marketplace

This research report reviews the U.S. private label credit card market and stakeholders as they adapt to changing retail and consumer interests.

In spite of their many advantages and widely deployed infrastructure, private label credit cards (PLCCs) are now subject to new competitive market forces in the U.S. market.

Yet they remain an essential credit vehicle. They have successfully been adapted and grown over decades. They continue to show flexibility as retailers refresh their offerings, and they continue to enjoy a major numeric advantage in number of accounts compared to the newer transactional credit accounts.

The analysis presented in Private Label Credit Cards Update: New Opportunities, New Competitors reviews strategic developments and product outlook for private label credit cards and their stakeholders.

The ability of the PLCC industry to remake itself and grow over the decades is remarkable, and it continues to attract new issuers and program sponsors. The competitive challenges facing retailers in adjusting the mix of online versus physical store sales creates strategic challenges for all stakeholders, commented the author of the research report. But innovative programs ensure PLCC products will keep pace with the needs of retailers and their customers.

Highlights of the research report include:

  • Consumer survey data documenting U.S. cardholders' shifts in product use and inclinations to use alternative credit at checkout or point of sale (POS)
  • Trends in PLCC accounts versus general purpose cards and unsecured personal loan products in the United States.
  • The competitive environment of PLCC issuer competitors
  • A review of the leading retailer programs and issuing partners
  • Product innovations reshaping the PLCC landscape, including secured PLCCs and semi-closed loop PLCC programs

Key Topics Covered

1. Executive Summary

2. Introduction

3. Cardholders Show Important Shifts in Product Use

  • Card Product Usage

4. Enter Alternative Lending Products

5. Credit Bureau Data are Consistent with Consumer Surveys

  • PLCC Account Trends
  • Momentum Versus Scale
  • Credit Quality

6. PLCC Issuer Competition

  • Leading Retailer Programs
  • Mostly the Usual Suspects
  • Newsworthy from PLCC Issuers

7. Conclusions

Companies Mentioned

  • Alliance Data/Comenity
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Capital One
  • Chase
  • Citibank
  • Discover
  • Goldman Sachs
  • US Bank
  • Synchrony
  • TD Bank
  • Walmart

List of Figures & Tables

Figure 1: Private label card use may be showing early signs of erosion to POS/checkout credit

Figure 2: Preferential users of store cards are older, middle-income, rather than young consumers

Figure 3: The majority of U.S. consumers have not used instant financing, but early users skew younger than average

Figure 4: Private label credit card accounts number leveled off following a 2018 portfolio purge of inactive accounts

Figure 5: The origination trend for personal loans exceeds the trend for general purpose credit cards, while the PLCC trend is declining

Figure 6: Unsecured personal loans remain a relatively small product category in the U.S. in number of accounts

Figure 7: Credit quality of private label and general purpose cards is converging

Figure 8: After a blip in purchase volumes, balances and volume resume their parallel growth

Table 1: Co-brand and private label card plans have similar penetration among the top 25 retailers

Table 2: Top 25 U.S. retailers and their credit card programs, excluding auto retailers, ranked 1-12

Table 3: Top 25 U.S. retailers and their card programs, excluding auto retailers, ranked 13-25

Table 4: Most issuers support a small number of large retailer programs

For more information about this report visit

Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager
For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470
For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630
For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900

Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager
For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470
For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630
For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900