ICBA Payments Solutions


ICBA Payments Automated Card Expert (ACE) gives you the tools you need to run comprehensive financial analyses of your community bank’s credit card portfolio.

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How to Get Started

Encourage cardholders to begin using their card by offering incentives for immediate activation. 

Best Practices: 

  • Run a sweepstakes contest for cardholders who have received cards in the last six weeks, but not activated.  Offer at random, prizes such as a weekend get-away or a ticket package to a local sporting event. 

  • Offer coupons for discount travel, entertainment, or dining for the first transaction (including balance transfers) on newly issued cards. 

  • Extend a very low rate for the first month of card usage. 

  • Let the cardholder select their own PIN number and billing cycle. 

  • Incent cardholders with cash rewards for transaction volume.

Target Audience:  New card accounts 

Maximize your bottom line by motivating cardholders to activate their cards and purging your files of long-term inactives. 

Best Practices: 

  • Card Activation Sticker - these stickers not only encourage cardholders to activate their cards, but also help reduce the instances of fraud and strengthen your cardholder relationships 

  • Cards Not Activated Report - Keep a monthly report in order to closely monitor and target those listed with activation tactics, such as sending a letter stating the benefits of their bank cards. 

 Remember:  the longer accounts remain inactive, the more difficult they are to activate. 

  • Reducing Inactives - If cards have not been activated within six months of issuing, consider the following tactics: 

    • Fail reissue of the card 

    • Send a "Request to Close" letter 

    • Implement a $10 to $20 "Inactivity" fee for cardholders who have never activated their card or use their card less than three times a year.

Target Audience:  New card accounts and inactive cardholders 

Encourage new or inactive cardholders to activate their card by offering to let them transfer balances from other cards. 

Key benefits are accounts become active immediately with a balance transfer, and balance transfers tend to be larger dollar amounts which result in increased outstandings. 

Best Practices: 

  • Include a balance transfer form with new card issuance. Be sure to describe the transfer process clearly and simply. 

  • Offer a rebate for a transferred balance 

  • Offer a teaser rate on transferred balances. 

  • Offer a gift for balance transfers in excess of a specific dollar amount

Reach cardholders and customers through messages in account statements that they receive regularly in the mail 

Best Practices: 

  • Keep it short 

  • Use benefit-driven copy. Be sure the cardholder knows instantly what you are offering and what it means to them 

  • Provide a call-to-action.  Make it clear what you want the cardholder to do, and provide a means for a response, such as a number or email.