Flexible solutions in a dynamic market
As a financial services provider, it is natural for us to be flexible and responsive to the evolving requirements of our customers – we have to serve them, but also anticipate their needs, provide cutting-edge solutions and be agile. It is not only our approach that is dynamic, but the way we implement it too.
Standing still is not a sustainable business model in any sector. Success involves reinventing yourself time and again. As an agile and growing mid-sized company, we have managed to strike the right balance between being dynamic and offering stability. This dynamic approach is borne out in several different areas of our business.
As the “Swiss Payment Monitor 2020” report1 shows, the shift away from cash and towards card and mobile payment methods was already underway in Switzerland before the Covid-19 pandemic. According to that study, credit card transactions grew five fold in the period from 2005 to 2019. This trend was reinforced by the pandemic. “The Monitoring Consumption Switzerland” study2 looked at consumer behaviour after the lockdown and found that, in June 2020, the number of payments made with credit cards was 16% higher than in the period from January to March 2020.
This trend is reflected in the steady growth in our credit card business. Our market share has reached 13% since we entered the market 14 years ago. And having issued more than a million credit cards, we are now one of the leading card providers in Switzerland. Through our large number of partnerships and our own Cembra credit card, we handled 80.9 million credit card transactions in 2020.
Since 2013, the year of our IPO, our customer base has increased by 65%. Our growth strategy is focused on new partnerships. Thanks to our long-standing collaboration with partners such as Migros, TCS, LIPO, Conforama, Fnac, and our latest partnership with IKEA, we can further strengthen our position on the Swiss credit card market. We have also expanded our portfolio dynamically through acquisitions. The acquisitions of EFL Autoleasing and Swissbilling in 2017 and cashgate in 2019 helped us to grow through synergies, introduce new lines of business and expand our customer base.
We do everything we can to promptly address our customers’ evolving needs. Whether it involves financing electromobility, offering invoice payment solutions or lending specifically to SMEs, we are always ready to serve the market. We also keep up with market trends and customer wishes when we are developing innovations or implementing new solutions, such as mobile or wearable payment options. We are also investing substantially in our digital interaction with customers. Automated onboarding and optimised self-service features allow us to communicate in a way that is more efficient for both sides.
The continuous growth in our customer base shows that our dynamic approach is paying off: we now have more than a million customers. They are the best proof that Cembra understands how to anticipate their needs.
1 Study by ZHAW and the University of St. Gallen (https://swisspaymentmonitor.ch)
2Project carried out by the Universities of St. Gallen and Lausanne (https://monitoringconsumption.com)