Eight steps to get started
Visa can help you create a successful program from the ground up. Here’s how the process works, step by step:
- 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.
- Outline the unique benefits, pricing, and promotion that will distinguish your co-branded card.
- Develop selection criteria for prospective issuers.
- Determine the financial institutions that fit with your competitive strengths and marketing strategy.
- 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.
- Send this RFP to your select group of financial institutions.
- Review responses to your proposals.
- Draft and execute a contract with the winning financial institution.
On this page
- What steps do I take to get a credit card with my company name on it?
- Is my business large enough?
- Is there revenue share to the partner?
- Who owns the cardholder data?
- How is Visa involved?
- What is the difference between co-branded and affinity cards?
- Should I hire a consultant to help me?
- How long does it take to get a program started?
What steps do I take to get a credit card with my company name on it?
First, you need to choose a financial institution to issue a co-branded card for your program. Visa does not actually issue the cards. We offer a list of issuing financial institutions that have authorized Visa to include their names for new business opportunities. Please contact one or more of these issuers to explain your program idea. Once an issuer accepts your proposal, you and that issuer will work together to develop a product.
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: goodwill, alliances, etc. Higher numbers do gain more attention, but they’re not the only criteria.
Is there revenue share to the partner?
That depends on the contract negotiated between the partner and issuer. Visa is not privy to these negotiations.
Who owns the cardholder data?
Typically, the issuer owns the cardholder data. In many cases, data are shared, but this is negotiated between the issuer and the partner.
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 and partner, their schedules, and the program’s level of complexity.