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STRATEGIES FOR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN THE CREDIT CARD BUSINESS: A SURVEY OF MEMBER BANKS OF THE KENYA CREDIT AND DEBIT CARD ASSOCIATION (KCDCA)

To be successful, a company must do a better job than its competitors of satisfying target
consumers. This is competitive advantage and it is about winning target customers and
retaining them. In order for an organization to be able to gain competitive advantage
over its competitors, the organization must first analyze and understand its internal and its
external environment. Kenya’s global share of the credit card industry has grown
remarkably; and in response to this, more banks are now issuing credit cards hence
competition is increasing among the banks.
The research objective was to investigate the strategies that banks in Kenya are using to
gain competitive advantage in the credit card business, and establishing the effectiveness
of the strategies. The design for this study was a census survey design with a target
population of the 16 member banks of the Kenya Credit and Debit Card Association.
Primary data was collected through structured questionnaires and other questionnaires
were issued to customers/a small section of card holders to get statistics of their preferred
issuers. Data was later analyzed and presented by use of tables, bar charts, graphs and
pie charts.
The conclusion is that banks have strategies useful to gain competitive advantage in the
credit card business. The strategies are useful in customer retention and also attracting
potential customers; but they are faced with challenges like competition, credit card fraud
and high joining and running costs. The recommendations are that a lot of customer
education should be done; more research should be done on technological advancements,
improvements and innovations so as to fight and avoid credit card fraud and identity
theft; the interest rates and income level to get a credit card should be revised/lowered so
as attract a larger clientele; and the government needs to come up with legislation that
will introduce harsh punishment to identity theft offenders.

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