Frequently asked questions about co-branded cards

Get the answers you need about building a co-branded card program with Visa.

What steps do I take to get a credit card with my company name on it?

Visa does not issue the cards, but we can help you create a successful co-branding program from the ground up. Here’s how the process works, step by step:

  1. 1. Develop a business plan outlining the estimated size and demographics of your existing customer base. An expected cardholder base of at least 50,000 over two years is a general guideline.
  2. 2. Outline the unique benefits, pricing, and promotion that will distinguish your co-branded card.
  3. 3. Develop selection criteria for prospective issuers.
  4. 4. Determine the financial institutions that fit with your competitive strengths and marketing strategy.
  5. 5. Draft a request for proposal (RFP). We offer a list of consultants who can help you develop a successful business plan and draft an RFP.
  6. 6. Send this RFP to your select group of financial institutions.
  7. 7. Review responses to your proposals.
  8. 8. Draft and execute a contract with the winning financial institution.

Is my business large enough?

Because each issuer has its own requirements regarding anticipated card volume, there is no magic number. Issuers enter into programs for different reasons, such as goodwill, alliances, and more. Higher numbers do gain more attention, but they’re not the only criteria.

Is revenue shared with the issuer?

That depends on the contract negotiated between you and the issuer. Visa is not privy to these negotiations.

Who owns the cardholder data?

Typically, the issuer owns the cardholder data. In many cases, data is shared, but this is negotiated between you and the issuer.

How is Visa involved?

Visa’s role is to support its issuing financial institutions through advertising and marketing programs that encourage the use of Visa cards. Visa will be happy to assist you in finding an issuer, but you need to contact the issuers and make your own proposal. The issuer will then work with Visa on setting up the program.

What is the difference between co-branded and affinity cards?

A co-branded card is typically issued in conjunction with a corporation and offers a value proposition to the consumer. An affinity card is issued in conjunction with a nonprofit organization, and the value proposition benefits that organization.

Should I hire a consultant to help me?

A consultant is not necessary, but in many cases a consultant can help you create ideas for your program, develop a request for proposal (RFP), talk to the issuers, etc. In the event you are interested, we’ve provided a list of consultants from the credit card industry.

How long does it take to get a program started?

You should plan on a minimum of six months, but this really depends upon the issuer, schedules, and the program’s level of complexity.