Insights and Inspiration


psychology of credit

The Unserved and The Invisible - The Value Opportunity

Paul Sweeney | Chief Strategy Officer
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Exploring the Psychology of Credit Choices

With Dan Blagojevic (Optima Partners) and Sean O’Toole (FinTech & SaaS Advisor)

Join us on our exploration of the psychological and behavioural aspects of financial services products, with a particular focus on debit and credit cards. Hosts Paul Sweeney and Dan Blagojevic, together with esteemed guest Sean O’Toole, discuss the utility and emotional value of these products. Drawing from Sean's extensive experience in the US financial services market, we compare how consumers in the US and UK perceive and use rewards cards, cashback cards, debit cards, and credit cards.

“One of the things that really built the AmEx franchise was AmEx was one of the few who would actually give a charge card to a young person coming out of college. The fact that you were catching that person at that point in time where they were the only person who would give you access to credit. Probably, if you look at those cohorts, the number of people who stuck with AmEx over the years, that's probably a high retention rate.” – Sean O’Toole

This week’s special guest is Sean O’Toole. Sean has been a leader at such companies as American Express, First Data, Western Union and Affirm. Sean started, built and sold his own company, Red Wage, back in 2014, which was early into the underserved and unserved market spaces.

In this episode, we navigate the dynamic world of financial institutions, examining the impact of their number in the US on the credit card space. We also touch on the rising popularity of 'buy now pay later' offers, discussing the psychology behind them and their appeal to younger consumers. Hear our thoughts on the evolving FinTech landscape, the potential shift in the UK's debit and credit card payments due to university fees, and the unique challenges faced by the US Neobank market.

Finally, listen in as we discuss the transformation in the banking landscape, specifically the shift in the prepaid cards market. We highlight how technologies like the iPhone and digital wallets have ushered in a new era of prepaid cards and examine how the proportion of unbanked individuals has changed over time. Our conversation also includes the potential and challenges of data-driven decision-making, the struggles enterprises face in incentivising executives, and the importance of understanding customers in the credit and collections industry.

Main topics discussed in this episode:

• Psychology of debit and credit cards
• The rise of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)
• Changing FinTech and consumer banking landscape
• The challenges of data-driven decision making
• How financial institutions attract and retain young customers
• How to measure customer value in payments

For more, visit: Optima Partners

More Summaries of the podcast, see:

This podcast is produced in partnership with

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