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HSBC Achieves 15% Uplift in Monthly Card Spend Using FICO’s AI-Powered Optimization

FICO® Platform delivers standout results in credit line assignment;

HSBC wins 2024 FICO Decisions Award



  • HSBC is using FICO® Platform to grow its credit card portfolio
  • The project saw a 15% uplift in monthly spend by customers on their cards, as well as improvements in active card use and share of wallet, without increasing bad debt
  • HSBC won a 2024 FICO® Decisions Award for AI, Machine Learning and Optimization.

Today at FICO® World, the industry’s leading analytic and AI event, FICO announced that HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations, has used AI-powered mathematical optimization technology to grow its credit card portfolio. The project saw a 15% uplift in monthly spend by customers on their cards, as well as improvements in active card use and share of wallet, without increasing bad debt. HSBC has won a 2024 FICO Decisions Award for AI, Machine Learning and Optimization.

More information: Optimization | FICO

Watch the HSBC UK team tell their story on video.

“With FICO optimization, we can adjust credit limits to each customer’s risk, reward and engagement levels, and manage them with scientific precision, at speed, as our strategy and the economic climate change,” said Mike Roberts, head of unsecured retail risk, HSBC UK.

The retail banking sector in the UK is particularly competitive, and customers have fractured wallets, with three financial relationships on average. As part of its digital journey, HSBC has been focused on creating easy-to-use, tailored customer experiences, whilst delivering long-term revenue growth. The HSBC credit card portfolio was one of the areas targeted for sustainable and responsible growth by providing tailored credit line increase offers to customers.

“Setting new credit limits through testing programs is inefficient, and could damage customer relationships,” said Roberts. “By using FICO’s mathematical optimization, we were able to simulate responses to customer engagement, levels of spend, activations, loss rates, profitability and customer outcomes, whilst factoring in changes in economic and regulatory conditions. We were also able to better meet customer needs by targeting offers to customers that wanted and would use a credit line increase.”

HSBC worked closely with FICO to design the decision influence process that captured their credit line increase business. Eight action-effect models were created to forecast the impact of the existing credit line increase strategy. These models were configured within FICO® Platform, together with HSBC’s own profit calculations, and a suite of around 40 scenarios were developed to find the best solution.

When COVID 19 hit in 2020, HSBC rapidly redeveloped the strategies to deal with the new economic climate. Despite reduced demand for credit during lockdown, the optimised strategy proved to be more effective than its previous strategy at generating card use.

In July 2023, the UK passed Consumer Duty regulations, aimed at ensuring banks delivered products and services that are tailored to individual’s needs, deliver fair value, and do not put consumers at risk of unaffordable debt. By using FICO® Decision Optimizer’s precise mathematical techniques, HSBC is well equipped for determining the best outcomes and assisting its customers to deal with this regulatory change.

“The ability to test vast decision strategy possibilities, inter-relationships and subsequent permutations in volumes and scenarios is way beyond the capacity of the human brain to calculate,” said Roberts. “At the same time, we are executing explainable decision strategies that provide the visibility and certainty to know that we are doing the right thing for customers.”

“Decision optimization is one of the most advanced tools a lender has,” said Nikhil Behl, chief marketing officer at FICO. “HSBC has again shown its leadership in the market with this project.”

“To get an advantage in one of the world’s most competitive credit markets is an outstanding achievement,” said Paul Robinson, VP credit management at Canadian Tire Bank and one of the FICO Decisions Awards judges. “The judges were impressed by HSBC’s savvy use of optimization and its ability to balance numerous objectives and constraints to find more successful options for its customers.”

To see the full list of this year’s FICO® Decision Awards winners, check out:

About the FICO Decisions Awards

The FICO Decisions Awards recognize organizations that are achieving remarkable success using FICO solutions. A panel of independent judges with deep industry expertise evaluates nominations based on measurable improvement in key metrics; demonstrated use of best practices; project scale, depth and breadth; and innovative uses of technology. The 2024 judges are:

  • Andrew Birmingham, editor, Mi3
  • Eric Kavanagh, CEO Bloor Group and host, InsideAnalysis
  • Elizabeth Lumley, deputy editor, The Banker
  • Paul Mah, senior editor, CDO Trends
  • Laura Martins, editor, IT Forum
  • Paul Robinson, VP credit management at Canadian Tire Bank (Previous Winner)
  • Shiv Sehgal, EVP audience analytics at RSG Media (Previous Winner)
  • Nick Vitchev, director at Chartis

The winners of the FICO Decisions Awards will be spotlighted at FICO® World 2024, April 15 – April 18, 2024 in San Diego, California.

About FICO

FICO (NYSE: FICO) powers decisions that help people and businesses around the world prosper. Founded in 1956, the company is a pioneer in the use of predictive analytics and data science to improve operational decisions. FICO holds more than 200 US and foreign patents on technologies that increase profitability, customer satisfaction and growth for businesses in financial services, insurance, telecommunications, health care, retail and many other industries. Using FICO solutions, businesses in more than 100 countries do everything from protecting 4 billion payment cards from fraud, to improving financial inclusion, to increasing supply chain resiliency. The FICO® Score, used by 90% of top US lenders, is the standard measure of consumer credit risk in the US and has been made available in over 40 other countries, improving risk management, credit access and transparency.

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