August 29, 2020

Changing Climate in the Consumer Lending Marketplace: What We’re Seeing and Hearing​

Jim Stewart

Jim Stewart

CEO, Epic Research

Three Things We’re Hearing

  • Personal loan online acquisition perked up in July
  • Credit Card mail volume edges up
  • Student loan acquisition unfazed by the pandemic

A two-minute read

Personal Loan Online Acquisition Perked Up in July

  • Personal loan July mail volume showed a slight rise from prior months, but was still 59% below July 2019
PERSONAL LOAN DIRECT MAIL VOLUME YOY (1)
  • OneMain remains the top mailer, with little pause since January, and Discover, which has remained fairly consistent since January, is the second largest
PERSONAL LOAN DIRECT MAIL VOLUME BASED ON LENDERS
  • While the personal loan direct mail channel continues to lag, industry commentary indicates increased activity in online channels, especially aggregators
  • This observation is confirmed when looking at online traffic to the top five prime fintech lenders from the major aggregators, which has doubled since the May bottom and is now at 60% of the February level
PERSONAL LOAN Traffic from TOP Online Aggregators (1)

Credit Card Mail Volume Edges Up

  • Credit card mail volume crept up slightly from its June bottom; however, it is still well below pre-COVID levels and 68% lower than July of 2019
Credit Card DIRECT MAIL VOLUME YOY (1)
  • There was, however, a slight uptick by some of the top mailers, including Amex, Chase, and Capital One
CRedit card DIRECT MAIL VOLUME BASED ON LENDERS (1)
  • Over half of Amex’s volume was in its “Blue Cash” product, which includes 6% cash back on groceries and streaming services
American Express Volume by Product (2)
  • Our experience with the Comperemedia data (and its predecessors) over the past several decades has shown it to be an accurate representation over time when compared to known actual data, however there are occasional sampling “blips” on a monthly basis that may or may not be representative

Student Lending Unfazed by COVID

  • Unlike other lending products, student lending volume has been relatively unfazed by the pandemic with year-to-date volume down only 5% from 2019, and June and July volumes being the largest of the past five years
Private Student Loan mail volume by month (1)
  • Discover has been the dominant mailer, with 75% of the total 2020 mail volume
Private Student Mail Volume by LENDER (1)
  • Student loan rates have stabilized recently, which coincides with a steep drop-off in private student loan searches
ONLINE SEARCH- Student Loan (1)
  • Additionally, towards the end of the student loan season, we have seen behaviors changing on our Nitro site showing a similar drop-off in activity

Help Us with Our Surveys

  • Over the past few months we have done a number of surveys, including:
  • Consumer lending executives' marketing intentions
  • Checking account customer behavior
  • Digital behaviors
  • Consumers’ attitudes toward their ability to pay their bills
  • Consumer preferences for credit card rewards
  • What other topics would you be interested in hearing about? Please click here or reply to this email to let us know

Quick Takes

PANDEMIC BRINGS CHANGE TO AMERICAN’S FINANCES (1)
Thank you for reading. Email me with your comments and suggestions on future topics or to have someone added to our distribution list. Jim Stewart www.epicresearch.net To read our previous newsletters, click here.

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