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信用卡市场已经十分拥挤,苹果和高盛却还要进入

苹果及其合作伙伴高盛在消费信用卡领域属于新手,两家公司必须快速学习并掌握一些必要的繁杂程序。

苹果公司上月推出信用卡,期盼着像在手机领域那样颠覆这个价值1750亿美元的行业。在引人注目的春季发布会上,苹果简单地做了推介,并用制作精良的视频展示了这款钛合金信用卡。首席执行官蒂姆·库克说这是50年来对信用卡的“最重大改变”。

发布很容易。

苹果及其合作伙伴高盛在消费信用卡领域属于新手。苹果通过Apple Pay涉足了移动支付业务。高盛则有Marcus个人贷款平台。现在,两家公司必须快速学习并掌握支付纠纷处理、客户服务和出对账单等繁杂程序。

争议处理尤其棘手。有时候持卡人会认不出向他们收费的商家。还有些时候,实体卡或者卡号被盗后会出现套购。另外,消费者还可能因为对所购商品不满而就收费提出异议。

高盛将负责处理这些纠纷。这对联合发行的信用卡来说是常见做法。但就苹果而言,让别的公司跟自己的用户打交道实属罕见。这家总部设在加州库比蒂诺的大型科技企业更愿意掌控所有产品的端到端体验,包括和消费者的互动。

此外,苹果将看不到这张信用卡上发生的交易,高盛则不会为了做广告或其他营销活动而出售这些数据。两家公司都拒绝发表评论。

苹果将利用iMessage来帮助高盛。这项短信服务可能会负责处理简单事务,比如更改地址。苹果的Wallet软件还有点击呼叫功能,它可以帮用户和苹果的客服代表连线。但如果出现纠纷,苹果的客服代表就会将用户转接给高盛,让后者来解决问题。

为银行和保险公司提供客服协助的Smart Communications公司的首席执行官詹姆斯·布朗说:“我相信会有一小部分人对那样的服务通话程序感到完全满意。”但如果苹果“真的想进入大众市场,他们就需要参考那些应用面更广的客户沟通和出对账单的方法,并采用后者的模式”。

高盛的呼叫中心运营经验有限。历史上,该公司在大多数时间里都主要服务企业客户,而不是消费者。不过,它的Marcus个人贷款业务最近赢得了一项消费者满意奖。

在美国运通于2017年进行的调查中,约40%的美国消费者表示,如果是在处理较复杂的问题,他们就更有可能选择人工客服,而不是在线聊天或移动App这样的自助服务工具。

摩根大通过去四年的消费者服务成本下降了15%,原因是它把80%以上的交易都转移到了自助渠道,比如摩根大通的移动App或者网站。据该公司的消费业务负责人戈登·史密斯介绍,虽然呼叫中心接听的电话数量基本未变,但每通电话的成本下降了7%。

跟高盛合作前,苹果还得设法防止出现一个常见的纠纷问题,那就是消费者在对账单上看到自己弄不明白的交易记录,原因是它出现在一个不熟悉的商家名下。

Apple Pay的副总裁詹妮弗·贝利在上个月的发布会上表示:“如今,我们中的许多人都可能在对账单上看到这样的交易记录,上面的商家名称很神秘,解读起来相当困难。有了Apple Card,我们就可以通过机器学习和Apple Maps把这些乱糟糟的东西变成大家能识别的名称和地址。”

以前苹果就曾经遇到过消费信用卡纠纷问题。比如,美国运通就曾经提到,消费者经常会就iTunes收费,也就是购买App和歌曲时支付的款项提出异议。

在美国运通于3月召开的投资者见面会上,该公司的首席策略官穆罕默德·巴迪说:“我们注意到,在iTunes上购物的消费者提出的争议异常多。他们在对账单上看到iTunes上有一笔他们不知道的收费,这是因为他们忘了这笔费用包括多项交易,比如有一部电影,还有一款游戏。”

苹果和美国运通一起在数字对账单上添加了一个链接,直接指向iTunes发票,消费者可以在发票上看到自己买了什么东西。巴迪表示,此举让持卡人纠纷“显著减少”。

然而,要想更进一步来重新设计呆板的信用卡对账单,苹果和高盛的可操作空间就不大了。

按照美联储的规定,银行必须使用“易读的字体和字号”,一般是Arial和10号字。披露利息时,银行则须使用16磅字体。监管部门还要求“段落之间留有足够空白”,而且文字和背景要有足够强的颜色对比。(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

Apple Inc. launched a credit card last month, hoping to upend a $175 billion industry much like it did the phone business. At a splashy event, the company made a simple sales pitch and showed off the titanium product in a slick video. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook called it the “most significant change” to cards in 50 years.

Unveiling it was the easy part.

Apple and partner Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are relative newbies to consumer credit. Apple has dabbled through its mobile payments service Apple Pay. Goldman offers Marcus personal loans. Now, both companies must learn quickly to master the messy process of payment disputes, customer service, and statements.

Disputes are particularly tricky. Sometimes cardholders don’t recognize a merchant that they actually paid. Other times, the physical card or card number is stolen, leading to fraudulent purchases. And consumers can dispute a charge because they’re unhappy with a product they bought.

Goldman will handle disputes. That’s common for co-branded credit cards. But it’s rare for Apple to let another company work with its users. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant prefers to manage the end-to-end experience of all its products, including customer interactions.

Apple also won’t see transactions from the new card, and Goldman won’t sell the data for advertising or other marketing. Both companies declined to comment.

Apple is tapping its iMessage texting service to help Goldman. That may handle simple issues like changing an address. There’s also a click-to-call feature in Apple’s Wallet app. That will put users through to an Apple support representative. But if there’s a dispute, the Apple rep will pass the caller to Goldman to resolve the issue.

“I’m sure there’s a small segment of the population that will be completely satisfied with that chat route for servicing,” said James Brown, chief executive officer of Smart Communications, which helps banks and insurers with customer service. However, if Apple “really wants to move into the mass market they’ll need to adopt forms of the other communication methods and statement methods that are more widely used.”

Goldman Sachs has limited experience running call centers, having focused on corporate customers, not consumers, for most of its existence. Still, its Marcus personal loan operation won an award for customer satisfaction recently.

Roughly 40% of U.S. consumers in a 2017 survey by American Express Co. said they are more likely to seek out a human representative on the phone rather than self-service support like online chat or a mobile app if they’re dealing with a more complex issue.

At JPMorgan Chase & Co., the cost of serving customers dropped 15% in the last four years as more than 80% of the bank’s transactions have migrated to self-service channels, such as the firm’s mobile apps or its website. While the number of call center calls is about the same, the cost of each call is down 7%, according to Gordon Smith, head of the lender’s consumer arm.

Apple will try to head off one common dispute problem before it reaches Goldman: When customers see a transaction on their statement they don’t understand because it’s listed under an unfamiliar merchant name.

“Many of you looking at your credit card statements today might recognize seeing transactions that look like this: cryptic merchant names that are pretty hard to decipher,” Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, said during the event last month. “With Apple Card, we use machine learning and Apple Maps to transform this mess into names and locations that you’ll recognize.”

Apple has had its own trouble with consumer credit-card disputes in the past. American Express, for example, noticed customers often challenged charges from iTunes, which covers purchases like apps and songs.

“We noticed that when customers shop on iTunes, they had an unusual number of disputes,” Mohammed Badi, chief strategy officer of AmEx, said at the company’s investor day in March. “On their statement, they’d see a charge next to iTunes that they didn’t recognize, forgetting it might be made up of multiple transactions: a movie, a game.”

Apple worked with AmEx to provide a direct link from digital statements to the iTunes receipt to show consumers what they bought. That produced a “significant reduction” in cardholder disputes, Badi said.

When it comes to redesigning the fusty card statement further, Apple and Goldman don’t have much wiggle room, though.

Banks are required to use a “readable font style and font size,” typically Arial size 10, according to Federal Reserve regulations. For interest rate disclosures, banks are required to use 16-point font. Regulations also require there to be “adequate spacing between paragraphs” and sufficient contrast between the colors of the text and the colors of the background.

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