Comscore Uncovers the Impact of COVID-19 on Small Business Credit Card Applications
Year-over-year small business credit card application volume shrunk 41% in Q2 2020, but increased search activity signals renewed hope for the second half of 2020
New research from Comscore, a trusted partner for planning, transacting and evaluating media across platforms, found indications that interest from small businesses in small business credit cards may be rebounding after a loss in momentum in the first half of 2020.
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Using insights from the Comscore Small Business Credit Card Benchmarker, which leverages panel data to produce granular and actionable insights to understand emerging trends in the industry landscape, Comscore’s “The COVID-19 Impact on Small Business Credit Card Applications in 2020” whitepaper examines how small business credit card application and research cycles have trended before and during the COVID-19 era and what changing consumer behaviors and potential future trends mean for small business credit card issuers.
Key findings include:
- After growth throughout 2019, small business credit card shopping began to decline in Q1 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and small businesses focused on relief through small business loans.
- Submitted small business credit card applications declined during the peak of the pandemic. Q1 2020 saw a 6% year-over-year decline in submitted applications and Q2 saw a 41% year-over-year decline.
- Small business credit card issuers pulled back on paid marketing tactics such as affiliate sites and paid search in Q2 2020. Affiliate sites accounted for 8% of referred applications in Q2 2020, down from 15-20% from the prior year; paid search accounted for 7% of referrals in Q2 2020, down from 55% in the prior quarter. The decrease in marketing, however, did not correlate with a decrease in overall search activity: search referred applications experienced a slight uptick to 26% of total submissions compared to only 22% of submissions in Q1 2020.
- Searches for small business loans outpaced searches for small business credit cards in March and April of 2020 as COVID-19 relief and support were top priorities. Starting in June 2020, however, searches for small business credit cards began to increase slightly, signaling small businesses’ renewed interest going into the second half of the year.
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