Modern Credit Card Apps Manual

ref: marqeta, pdf archive

Credit cards have been a central part of our daily spending habits since the 1950s.

Attracted by large sign-up bonuses and temporary eye-catching offers, new customers typically apply with their standard credit score. It’s not unusual for consumers with a decent credit history to own as many as three or even four cards. But for those whose credit score doesn’t meet the minimum standard, options can be limited to subprime providers and offerings that often come with high interest rates, fees, and low credit line limits.

Imagine a credit card capable of delivering real-time and highly personalized rewards based on an individual user’s spending behavior, affinity, or geographic location. Or an end-to-end credit journey that lives entirely with the issuer or brand’s experience. What if you could use data to power the application process and offer lines of credit based on more than just a credit score? This is what a modern credit card is able to offer.

The three pillars of a modern credit card experience

Three pillars: Personalized, Digital first, Intelligent


  • Virtually every part of the customer’s credit journey from rewards to payments can be tailored and personalized to segments or even individual cardholders.
  • Enhanced rewarding experience
    • new, sophisticated and targeted rewards propositions that are built around individual interests and can be modified when customer preferences or shopping behaviors change
    • rewards possibilities: cryptocurrency and shares of stocks, cause-based offers where donations are made to a consumer’s favorite charity, behavioral incentives that offer bonus cash back to pay down debt or top up savings accounts
  • Customized interest payment
    • ability to automate recognition of a good repayment track record. Rules can be set on a modern platform that automatically lowers a user’s APR after they have successfully repaid their balance multiple times
  • Adapted due payments
    • forecasting functionality enables cardholders to see what interest they will have to pay over a period of time under different repayment scenarios
  • Personalized card controls
    • configure where the card can be used, for how much, and when, and all of this can be done at the individual user level. These controls can be updated dynamically as cardholder profiles change or as a need arises
    • for example, a credit card provided by a parent to their teenager could be set to block online gambling transactions

Digital first

  • From onboarding to lifecycle marketing and engagement with the cardholder, modern credit cards are built for the digital and mobile-first consumer.
  • Consumers now expect the ability to access critical functions such as applying for a card, making transactions online and off, setting up repayment plans, budgeting, and monitoring spending, in seconds. A credit card needs an app
  • Everything is instant with a modern credit card. Webhook technology enables mobile notifications that deliver real-time transaction data along with account and chargeback status updates


  • Modern credit programs can utilize data at the program, user, and transaction level to power custom and real-time decisioning and provide offers, budgeting recommendations, and more.
  • By tracking a user’s spending patterns to identify purchase category trends, a card program is able to make targeted offers and recommendations. For example, a card program could provide discounts or rewards for restaurants in a destination linked to a recent airline ticket purchase
  • Most credit card issuers rely on traditional FICO scores to assess the creditworthiness of their applicants. With this approach, some consumers — such as those who have yet to build or repair their credit history, or who may have recently arrived from another country — can be denied access to the market.
    • Modern credit cards draw on a wide range of alternative data to assess new applications
    • it’s possible to incorporate data from bank accounts, such as cash flow and bill payment history, as well as employment information in the creditworthiness decision to reduce risk
    • This opens up the credit market to more people who might otherwise have struggled to get a non subprime product
    • The outcome is safe approvals with more personalized credit limits and APRs, leading to a sustainable credit card program