Credit card APR stays at 15% for the fourth straight week
According to a recent survey conducted by a renowned financial website, consumer credit card APR (annual percentage rate) stayed flat at 15 percent in the second week of October 2012. The interest rate on the new credit cards has remained fixed at 15 percent for the last 4 weeks in the country. This is marginally higher than what credit card companies were charging 6 months ago. The credit card APR stood at 14.96 percent at that point of time.
Apart from American Express, most credit card companies have not hiked the interest rate in the 2nd week of October 2012. It is said that American Express has hiked the introductory rate on its airline credit cards by 0.9%. Previously, consumers had to pay 3.90 percent interest rate for balance transfers. They got this special rate for 6 months. However, from now onwards consumers have to pay 3.99 percent interest rate for 9 continuous months.
The recent offer of JetBlue card (airline credit card of American Express) sets it apart from other cards. There is a justified reason behind this. Only one out of the other participant credit card companies offers an introductory interest rate for a short span of time on balance transfers to the consumers.
Most credit card companies restricted themselves from sending offers to consumers through Internet. This is a drastic change considering most credit card companies frequently sent fresh offers to consumers in the year 2011. Credit experts feel that consumers are extra cautious till the condition of the economy becomes better.
The result of the survey also revealed that consumers have become very tech-savvy nowadays. Most consumers are more interested in online banking. Consumers hardly have time to go to banks physically.
Nearly 39 percent of the consumers opt for online banking, a figure up by 3% from that of 2010. The number of consumers opting for mobile banking is still less. However, this figure is also likely to go up in future. Only 18 percent of the consumers like to go to bank. This figure is 7 percent less than that of the year 2010.
The number of consumers who loves to do online banking through their mobile devices has almost become double since the year 2010. It is true that the number is still low. However, this number is bound to increase in future. Consumers belonging to the Gen Y generation are more comfortable in doing online banking through their mobile devices. In fact, consumers belonging to the age group of 18 and 34 have increased the popularity of technology in the last few years.
According to the survey, nearly 15 percent of the young adults did their banking activities through mobile device. The only thing which the survey failed to reveal is the number of consumers who used both the banking options i.e., traditional and online banking.
One thing is clearly evident. Consumers are not apprehensive to use new technologies. They have understood that new technologies make it easier to do banking. However, it doesn't imply that traditional bank branches will not be there anymore. Branch design may change as less number of consumers visit banks.