The Benefits of a Program Manager

09th October 2023

In today’s digital age, convenience and security of financial transactions are vital. Therefore, it’s no surprise that card programs have become a cornerstone of the fintech industry with organisations looking to provide their customers with seamless payment options. 

However, what’s truly fascinating is the growing trend of non-fintech companies embracing card programs to bolster customer loyalty and tap into new revenue streams. 

But when you want to launch a card program but lack the time, resources or expertise: how do you get your product to market? 

That’s where a program manager steps in, to take care of the heavy-lifting and provide a stress-free approach to launching your card program. From strategy, to operations and compliance and labour-intensive tasks (such as managing third-party relationships) – it can all be taken care of. 

Here’s the ins-and-outs of how a program manager works… 

1. Program design: Create your card’s blueprint 

Imagine you’re designing a car from scratch. You’d need to decide on its shape, engineering, and controls. The same goes for card programs. Program design is about defining the card’s structure, features, benefits for customers, and all the nitty-gritty terms and conditions. It’s like giving your card a unique identity. You’ll also need to choose a card network (Mastercard or Visa), design the card’s look and decide whether it’s a physical or virtual card. 

2. Issuance, risk management and fraud prevention: The ‘not-so-fun’ parts 

Once your card program is designed, it’s time for issuance. This involves creating and distributing your tailor-made cards to customers, allowing them to make payments or earn rewards. 

But wait, safety first! Rigorous risk management and fraud prevention strategies are vital to protect you and your customers from the lurking dangers of fraud, identity theft, and data breaches. From transaction monitoring systems that use rules and machine learning to spot suspicious activity to two-step authentication processes like 3D Secure – these are all fundamental parts of your card program that help to keep baddies at bay. 

4. Compliance and regulation: Keeping it legal 

Every hero has rules to follow, and so do card programs. You need to play by the book, which means adhering to industry regulations. These rules are like the shield that protects your cardholders and keeps the payments network running smoothly. Think anti-money laundering (AML) requirements, and Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines, to name a few. 

5. Account management and customer service: The glue between you and your customers

Your program manager is also your go-to for managing customer accounts, handling enquiries, and resolving disputes or chargebacks. They’ve got your back! Let’s face it, once you’ve done all the hard work of acquiring customers, you want to keep them happy. Retaining cardholders and ensuring long-term profitability means treating them like your family. 

6. Reporting and analytics: The power of knowledge 

Finally, reporting and analytics are your secret weapons. Whether you want to keep an eye on transaction volumes, customer acquisition costs or churn rates, this is a fundamental step to understanding your customer behaviour and preferences, which in turn lets you assess how well your card program is doing and make improvements.

And there you have it, the fascinating world of card program management, demystified! 

What’s more, with Crunch, we offer a bespoke tailor-made solution to suit any business or organisation looking to launch their card program. This means you can pick and choose all or just a few or even 1 of the above elements to gain Crunch’s experience and years of industry expertise.

To talk to find out more information, contact mark.dillon@crunchpayments.com

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