Capital One’s Card Lab – Get your customized credit card

Capital One recently announced the launch of Card LabRon Shevlin writes about this:

Capital One launched Card Lab, which it claims is the first “do-it-yourself” credit card offer. It’s an interactive tool that lets prospective card applicants choose among a number of options to build their own card package. Not surprisingly, you can’t get a 25% annual bonus and 2 points per $1 charged and 1.25% back on purchases and….you get the picture (otherwise see below).

My take: Card Lab is a winner because it:

1) Builds up versus narrows down. Card Lab’s approach puts prospects in charge, and presents the options in such a way that they can easily see the tradeoffs they make when selecting certain options.

2) Engages with interactivity.Card Lab, on the other hand, is a great demonstration of the interactivity the channel is capable of delivering. Serious prospects can play what-if to their hearts’ content in order to understand the product features and tradeoffs available to them.

3) Yields actionable data.The web analytics folks at Cap One are going to have a field day with Card Lab. Analyzing the usage, trends, clickstream, etc. should help Cap One marketers get a really good understanding of who’s looking for cards online, what their preferences are, which features are most popular, and so on.

I agree with Ron completely. It’s a great idea and extremely customer-focussed.But, CardLab sounds a little intimidating to me.Another key issue though is actually the process of accepting or rejecting applicants – that is, how customer-level data is connected real-time for approving and disapproving an application as credit cards are fraught with credit-risks. Am sure Capital One has the process taped-up for this.But, this is a key factor for positive customer experience and product adoption. 

Here’s one more product that fits-in with all the advantages what Ron is talking about:

Closer home in India, my example is HDFC Bank’s NetSafe card for customization,customer-centricity and the method to manage the process well. It’s a lovely little product. In fact, it works on the fear of Net Security which is a primary concern for credit card customers using their cards online.

NetSafe, is a unique online payment solution that offers complete security while shopping on the Internet. With NetSafe, customers can shop online through a virtual credit card, without revealing their actual HDFC Bank Credit Card number. What’s more,they can use the HDFC Bank Debit Card(Check Card) also for online purchases. Customers here choose their account limit for this specific card – Value of credit limit, date of expiry of the card etc.! Customer can create as many online credit cards as possible(subject to the overall accepted credit limit).


  1. You raise some good points. The approach may be intimidating to some, but online card applicants (in the US, at least) tend to be (relatively) highly educated, and experienced online users. So I think the tool will attract the people who aren’t intimidated — and probably more highly educated, and therefore, better credit risks.
    But your point about HSBC’s NetSafe card raises a different issue about Cap One’s Card Lab: It’s a high tech approach to selling yesterday’s credit card product. If potential online card applicants are also those who purchase online most frequently, Cap One might be missing an opportunity here.


  2. This is a great way to process credit cards for my auto part business, I like it because I don’t have to purchase an expensive wireless credit card terminal, Simple, Intuitive Set-up for Payment Mechanisms


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