SDL/TL Talking Points to use in Team Huddles
- We recently made the decision to no longer use “where you shop” as a reason to reduce credit lines. It was never a determining factor by itself but it was confusing to Cardmembers because it was not about specific merchants and so we decided to stop using it.
- We want to tell our customer care professionals about this decision so they can answer Cardmember questions appropriately, but also, and more importantly, take this opportunity to speak with them to ensure they understand the bigger picture about AXP’s approach to responsible lending.
- Please call team huddles as soon as possible and you can use the talking points below to lead the discussions.
Profitability and Managing Risk
- Given the environment, I wanted to remind you of a few key facts about American Express, our priorities and our approach to responsible lending.
- I recognize that in your roles you are hearing directly from customers and empathize with their problems.
- I want to remind you that our aim is to prudently manage credit risk — for AXP and for our Cardmembers.
- We have a responsibility to run our operations effectively and to turn a profit.
- Ensuring large corporations, such as ours, are profitable and deemed trustworthy institutions is one of the keys to economic recovery.
- One way we accomplish this goal is to manage our risk prudently.
Credit Limit Decisions
- In reviewing Cardmembers’ credit lines, the driving factor is their overall debt level relative to their financial resources.
- Beyond that, no one factor determines our decision to reduce a credit limit. We look at many factors, including the Cardmember’s spending and repayment pattern with us, their reported income, and credit bureau data/scores.
- In fact, our risk models include hundreds of variables and we use the models for a variety of reasons, including detecting fraud and identity theft.
- Previously American Express had also used “where you shop” as a reason to reduce credit lines. It was never a determining factor by itself and it was confusing to Cardmembers because it was not about specific merchants and so we have decided to stop using it.
- Our aim in assigning credit limits is to strike the right balance between accommodating our Cardmembers’ spending needs and, at the same time, prudently managing credit risk — for us and for our Cardmembers.
- It’s also important to understand that the information we have — that helps us send relevant marketing offers, manage risk, detect fraud and identity theft, and more — is all a part of our closed loop system that includes both Cardmember and merchant data — a critical competitive advantage for AXP.
- Tracking and monitoring our closed loop data gives our Cardmembers and, in turn, our shareholders some important advantages. As examples, we are able to better track fraud (e.g. identifying excessive charges at same merchant in short period) and create tailored marketing offers.
- In addition to managing our risk, we must continue to run our company as efficiently as possible. We must all watch every dollar. We’ve done a good job but these continue to be challenging times.
- We'll continue to focus on our three priorities -- staying liquid, staying profitable and investing selectively for growth -- to manage the serious challenges we face in the short term and also position the company for the inevitable turnaround in the economy.
- We have new Q&As available in port about our decision to no longer use “where you shop” as a reason to reduce credit lines. Please make sure you refer to these if you receive any questions from Cardmembers.
- We also know the conversations you are having with Cardmembers are not always easy. It can be difficult to help a Cardmember understand the actions we may need to take on their account.
- I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your daily commitment to providing extraordinary customer care in this challenging environment.
- Please continue to let me know if there are certain questions or issues you are having difficulty addressing and we can see if we can provide you with better information.