Despite severe market conditions, I am seeing an acceleration of the implementation of new card management software. Inquiries from Gartner clients regarding card management software selection processes has increased more than 200% for the first 6 months of 2009. In addition, the number of net new card management software deals between calendar 2007 and 2008 are approximately +5% based on a recent Gartner study – not bad for the deepest global recession since the 1930s. Some card management software vendors have gone so far as to say, “Knock on wood, but we have not yet been negatively impacted by the financial crisis.”
Clearly, card management software as “recession proof” could change if unemployment continues to rise, the housing market fails to recover, consumer and corporate spending declines further, potentially harsher legislation increases to clamp down on perceived financial institution abuse through largely unregulated card terms (which could impact revenue and profitability), or as if general market conditions worsen. However, the point remains despite a difficult market environment in 2008: banks and processors are investing in card management software. For banks, it’s clear that card solutions are essential to build on existing customer relationships and demonstrate value to their retail banking customers.