Consumer Payment Card News

Fuzzy Statements

A global study of credit card statements conducted by an Australian non-profit group has found that the majority of these documents fail to meet the minimum acceptable usability level. Melbourne-based Communication Research Institute tested credit statements from Australia, Argentina, Austria, Chile, Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, UK and the USA and found that the statements could not be used to find out how much credit was run up on the credit card, how long it would take to pay it back, the ‘pay by’ date for each month, how much extra it’s going to cost in interest payments, and what happens if people miss a payment. The overall performance of statements from each country, where the minimum acceptable usability target level is 81%, was 33% for Australia, 55% for the U.K. and between 32% and 60% for the USA. CRI says that to be easily understood, people should be able to find at least 90% of what they are looking for on a credit card statement and then use appropriately 90% of what they find. The only information that can be found reliably on the statements it tested is the name of the organization sending it, and the person it is addressed to. Everything else falls well below an acceptable level.

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