Monday, January 27, 2003

Credit-card biller revisits positioning of balance due

Washington Post reports that MBNA, USA's second largest credit-card biller revisits the position of balance due on its monthly credit-card bills. The case shows how habits are important in retail payments.

The Delaware-based company had redesigned its bills earlier this month, dropping the total due from the large box at the top -- the "coupon" that was to be sent in with the payment. Only the minimum amount due was highlighted in the coupon. The total due still could be found on the bill, but at the bottom in smaller print.


Government regulations require that the total amount due be displayed on a bill, but don't specify where or how prominently it should be disclosed. Consumer groups and some industry experts criticized the change as likely to mislead consumers into paying only the minimum amount due -- which would trigger interest payments.