Gains and Losses of the Mandatory Duration Regulation for Rewards Programs by Credit Cards - KDI 한국개발연구원 - 연구 - 보고서
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KDI 한국개발연구원

KDI 한국개발연구원


KDI FOCUS Gains and Losses of the Mandatory Duration Regulation for Rewards Programs by Credit Cards 2014.09.04


Series No. No. 42, eng.

KDI FOCUS Gains and Losses of the Mandatory Duration Regulation for Rewards Programs by Credit Cards #소비자 후생 및 보호 #기업연구: 기업전략 #기업규제: 영업, 자격제한규제


  • 프로필
    조성익 연구위원
  • 프로필
    이화령 플랫폼경제연구팀장
□ Introduced in 2010, the regulation obliging one-year duration for credit card rewards programs may have provided card companies with a cost-saving justification for terminating rewards program prematurely. In addition, the recently announced revision to the Regulation on Supervision of Credit-Specialized Financial Business prohibits card companies from altering rewards program associated with a card while the card is valid. This may have the side effect of leading card companies to offer fewer benefits and restricting consumer choices. To address this issue, it is suggested that card companies be encouraged to diversify expiration dates.

- According to the survey, around 76 percent of consumers pointed to rewards programs as major consideration in opening a new credit card account.

- When card companies enact a strategy regarding the duration of services, consumer responses matter most. Consumers also consider the company’s policy on maintaining rewards programs when selecting credit cards.

- Before the introduction of the one-year mandatory duration, the rewards programs of credit cards lasted over three years on average. This implies the mandatory duration may have been too short.

- Card companies could have shortened their rewards programs duration since the one-year regulation.

- When card companies decide on the duration of rewards programs, they are likely to have given serious consideration to the one-year regulation.

- Card companies now can terminate rewards programs while acting in compliance with the regulation and the terms and conditions for membership, and do so without showing concern for consumers or keeping "the bona fide (good faith) principle".

- It is likely that “sophisticated consumers” would sign up for fewer new cards than they may have before the regulation. The card companies have responded by reducing the duration of rewards programs.

- Under the revision, consumers are left with product characterized by (fewer benefits, long duration) combination. Such a restriction of consumer choice could worsen overall consumer welfare.

- Diversifying validity periods may eliminate uncertainties and restore consumer choice. Should this be encouraged, the flexibility of card companies to choose among various terms of validity could be the resolution to the welfare-loss issue.
Ⅰ. Introduction of the Mandatory Duration Regulation on Credit Card Rewards Programs

Ⅱ. Introduction of One-Year Duration Regulation and the Reduction of the Duration of Credit Card Rewards Programs
 1. A Focal Point or an Indulgence for Card Companies
 2. Changes in the Card Holder Demographics and the Response of Card Companies

Ⅲ. Evaluation on the Preliminary Announced Legislation (banning changes or suspension of rewards programs)

Ⅳ. Conclusion
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