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How social media is changing credit card usage

The social element of credit card use has become an increasingly important aspect of how consumers view them as a payment option. With so much changing, below are the top three ways that social media is changing America’s relationship with their credit cards.

The relationship between credit cards and social media is becoming increasingly important, and it all goes back to user experience. It starts with the physical ease of using a card – it’s easy to swipe and dip your card to make payments, and cards have become more convenient than cash.

Then, there’s the rewards aspect. Not only do consumers have the opportunity to have money added back into their bank accounts, they can also earn experiential rewards, such as travel points. People are increasingly valuing the types of rewards that enable them to take a trip or visit a restaurant that they otherwise might not have had the opportunity to, thanks to their card usage.

In addition, younger generations are particularly keen on worldwide usage, as they tend to travel globally. Not having to make foreign currency conversions and having peace of mind that any fraudulent activity incurred while traveling abroad is important to younger consumers.

Finally, more and more that consumers are sharing and interacting with each other on social platforms about experiences and purchases they’ve enjoyed as a result of their card usage – which makes it all the more important for financial institutions to have card programs that are considered valuable and in demand.

Mitigating risks in the social media space

There is always a risk of fraud, whether it’s technical fraud, such as your information being compromised by a skimmer device at a point of payment like a gas station, or human fraud, when scammers hack into your account. Fraud risk can be mitigated, however, by utilizing the technology that you or your company are paying your financial institution for. Set up fraud alerts, regularly check activity online, keep an eye on transactions. In short, be vigilant and use the tools that are available to you.

One of the best ways to stay on top of fraudulent activity is to sign up for fraud alerts via text, so your financial institution can notify you quickly and easily as soon as they spot potential fraud. UMB is rolling out a new text alert program to our customers in 2020.

Another way to protect yourself is to sign up for a one-time-use card, which mitigates fraud risk because the card number can only be used once. This is a particularly useful way to help avoid human fraud, and something we’re seeing more and more of our commercial card clients moving toward.

From a social perspective, while it may be fun to share real-time photos of the vacation you earned through a cards reward program on Instagram or other platforms, be mindful that doing so could make you vulnerable. While your financial institution will be monitoring for fraud, you can help head off this issue altogether by waiting to post photos until you’re back home, so your residence and personal property don’t become targets for thieves looking to strike while you’re away from home.

What’s next for credit cards and social media?

Social is the language of today, and technology will keep evolving around social platforms. In the future it’s likely that  social media will even be more integrated into card usage, and you might even receive notifications of card activity on social platforms. Mobile capabilities will also continue to grow, as the consumers expect to execute and manage transactions on their handheld devices. Overall, social will continue to be a significant driver of advancements in banking in general and especially cards.

If you are interested in learning more about how UMB can help your business through banking and lending, visit our website.
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When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s Web site and go to Web sites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other Web sites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.