ANNUAL REPORT 2011 for the year ended March 31, 2011

Strategic Priorities

Saison American Express® Card Innovation in the Card Business

In 1997, we launched the Saison American Express Card, which added new brand status to the familiar Saison Card. Since then, we have expanded the lineup with a Platinum Card in 2005 and a Gold Card in 2007.

In June 2010, we strengthened our alliance with American Express by renewing the lineup with four innovative Saison American Express Cards featuring the well-known American Express Centurion image: the Platinum, Gold, Blue, and Pearl Cards.

Customers in the higher income bracket, baby-boomer customers just starting retired life, and women active in society present a need for cards that offer genuine status and service a cut above the rest. To meet this need, we have focused on sales of our Saison American Express Cards that offer a unique combination of status and service (a balance between the levels of service and the annual fees). With this initiative, we are aiming to both spark new innovation in the market and raise customer satisfaction.

Credit Saison will expand channels for the American Express® Card by collaborating with companies whose customer base is highly compatible with the card. One of the unique features of the American Express Card is that usage rates among cardholders is typically higher than other cards. Since annual transaction volume for shopping is typically four times higher than other cards, a significant increase in the number of cardholders can be expected to produce a leap in transaction volume. Our target is to expand transaction volume for American Express brand cards to ¥1 trillion in five years. In addition, we will strive to increase these cards' share of our shopping transaction volume from the current level of 8% of our overall transaction volume to 30% in the future.

Innovative Lineup of High Level Services and Outstanding Points Programs

Innovative Lineup of High Level Services and Outstanding Points Programs

Combining the Internet and Our Customer Base
Transformation from a Credit Card Company to an Internet Company

The Internet is another strategic pillar of Credit Saison's credit card business, as we aim to leverage the Internet and IT to both expand revenues and promote efficiency throughout our operations.

The Internet marketplace is expected to continue to grow by leaps and bounds into the future, and we are actively promoting the expansion of our Internet members to take advantage of the opportunities. At the end of March 2011, the number of members of our Internet site was 5.57 million, an increase of 1.31 million compared to the end of the previous year. We are operating the Eikyufumetsu.com site by capitalizing on our customer base of 28 million people and the unique Eikyufumetsu point service with no expiration. In September 2010, we eliminated the cardholder restriction for using Eikyufumetsu.com point services, thereby allowing anyone over the age of 16 to make use of them. This has opened the way for new alliances with leading Internet businesses like DeNA Co., Ltd., GREE, Inc., and CyberAgent, Inc., which will support the growth of our Internet business.

We provide an Eikyufumetsu.com toolbar, "Eikyufumetsu Plus" to enhance the convenience of Internet users. We have also complemented our Internet shopping with various other new services generated through alliances with coupon site Groupon Japan Inc., the brand goods buying and overseas auction site netprice.com, and the dining reservation service Gurunavi, Inc.

We have also introduced point exchange services which enable customers to make effective use of their accumulated Eikyufumetsu Points. Customers can exchange points for shopping vouchers, limited-edition items available only to Internet members, and more.

Credit Saison will continue to take on the challenge of building innovative Internet-based businesses. Specifically, we will target marketing businesses which analyze and sell the latest in accumulated marketing data on customer attributes, behavior, and buying histories along with advertising businesses which leverage Internet media data on what Internet members frequently view such as their online credit card usage statements.

By executing our current initiatives and broadening our business with new challenges, we will aim to establish fee-based Internet business models which support enhanced efficiency and higher revenues. These initiatives will move us beyond our traditional credit card business and transform Credit Saison into a company geared for the Internet age.

Concept Diagram of Internet-Based Business

Concept Diagram of Internet-Based Business

Finance Related Business Diversification of Revenue Sources

Long-term fixed-rate mortgage loan "Flat 35"

Our Flat 35 long-term, fixed-rate mortgage loan business expanded strongly during fiscal 2010 thanks to special incentives we offered to credit card members and a sense of trust and security instilled through our card business experience, along with a 1-point interest rate reduction offered through a government stimulus program. The number of new loans in fiscal 2010 grew 3.5 times to 1,957, while the loan balance surged about four times to ¥55.3 billion. In fiscal 2011, we plan to sign up 3,500 new mortgage loan customers by strengthening relations with alliance partners and adding an agent model to the marketing mix.

Credit Guarantees

Credit Saison has expanded its credit guarantee business by collaborating closely with financial institutions to build up a portfolio of strongly performing loans, with a focus on unsecured free-loans to individual customers. Regional banks and credit unions are currently active in offering non-collateral loans to sole proprietorships, and going forward we will expand our guarantee services for non-collateral loans tailored to the viability of such customers by leveraging our loan review capabilities and strong relations with financial institutions.

back to pagetop