Consumers have a lot to say to the CFPB about their credit cards—and it’s not good. According to the CFPB’s July Monthly Complaint Report, the CFPB has handled almost 100,000 consumer complaints about credit cards since July 2011, making it the fourth-most-complained-about consumer finance product. Complaints about billing disputes, account management, and lack of transparency about late fees and interest rates topped the list.
In light of the complaints about fees and rates, the CFPB has made it clear to companies that every consumer shopping for credit cards deserves access to accurate cost and fee information. Last week, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said, “It is important that credit card companies are being straightforward and clear about the costs and fees associated with their products so consumers have the information they need to make informed financial decisions.” In the majority of cases, consumers first come across such information through marketing materials, whether online, through mail, over the phone, or face-to-face. That’s a lot of channels where information can get lost or miscommunicated—and a lot of risk for legal penalties for non-compliance.
For every step of the customer journey, credit card marketers must make sure that their materials will not mislead consumers. If you’re involved with the marketing of credit cards, here’s a quick checklist when evaluating materials for CFPB compliance:
- Is your Schumer Box available and visible on web pages with credit card offers?
- Does your Schumer Box include all required information, such as the APR, fees, penalties, etc.?
- Are you explaining your promotional APR and balance transfers completely and correctly, including duration of the offer?
- Do you have oversight into inaccurate language used by affiliates, including superlative language?
- Are you reviewing customer complaints through your contact center to evaluate what parts of your marketing messaging, if any, are misleading?
- Are you reviewing complaints about your company through the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database and remediating these issues in a timely manner?
Vigilance will be key for marketers and compliance officers as the CFPB and other federal regulatory agencies keep a close eye on credit card companies. To learn how PerformLine helps credit card companies monitor marketing content, advertisements, contact centers and chats for marketing compliance, speak with us today.