Card Knowledge Factory ®


For over 31 years, R.K. Hammer has provided financial institutions and bankcard companies a suite of Consulting engagements plus state of the art Research Reports, as shown below: 

Card Portfolio Valuations, Card Portfolio Sales/Purchases, Co-Branded and Agent Bank Programs, Expert Witness consulting, Marketing, Operations, and Credit/Collections consulting,all for Private Label credit card programs and National Brand programs; for portfolios involved with our firm’s consulting on Super Prime, Prime, Near Prime, and SubPrime credit quality designed to make your credit card operation more efficient and more profitable. We have consulted with virtually every Top Tier card issuer, by asset size, plus bankcard companies from 50 countries abroad. 

In addition to the foregoing, we can also customize our Consulting and Research projects to best satisfy your objectives in every aspect of your cards and payments business. 

See additional information on our Consulting and Research expertise in this website Tabs “Services” and in About Us.” 


1. Summary of Card Portfolio Sale Premiums Paid
1986-last year (1 page): $350
A year-by-year listing of the range of our estimated premiums paid by card portfolio buyers, plus the average gross premiums per year, the number of transactions completed, and total $ assets sold. As always, no individual transaction is described; only composite figures from our industry model(s).

2. Card Sale Premiums paid by Region and Asset Size
2000-last year (1 page): $350
A more detailed review of card deals done year by year, which includes the following: average charge offs for the industry, average 30 day+delinquency, # transactions observed, total assets sold, average size deal, average estimated gross premium, industry ROA (pre-tax), Premiums as an Earnings Multiple (Premium/ROA), premiums paid for card deals by asset size range (small-medium-large), and by region.

3. Due Diligence Checklist, for Card Portfolio Buyers
(10 pages): $750
Having done 148 such deals over 25 years, R.K. Hammer has assembled a unique list of data items most needed in order to make a suitable/competitive bid for card assets. Asking sellers to create thousands of pages of special reports is not useful and typically will delegate you to the bottom tier of potential bidders. Likewise, saying “send us what you can” shows the seller you haven’t thought through your data needs – also last place in the bid pecking order. A sensible list in order to assist you with a preliminary bid is very helpful,to both the seller and the buyer.

4. Steps in a Card Portfolio Sale
(3 pages): $125
This can be very helpful information for the issuer who is beginning to look at acquiring bulk assets, and wants to have their task plans prepared in the most efficient way. Sellers want to learn in advance and often be helped to understand what happens and when, and who is responsible for the stages of a deal.

5. Boosting Branch Sales of Card Products
(24 pages): $450
Here are ways for the card organization to get a better response from the branch sales staff, in the sale of new cards. Incentive plans, employee training, and competitive issuer research are all presented.

6. Multi-year Card Penalty Fee Income
2003-last year (1 page): $175

7. Preliminary Bid Data Questionnaire
(4 Pages): $250
We have won many deals simply by being prepared up front, in reasonably explaining to the seller what we need in order to craft the best bid for them. Many sellers are frightened off by the huge volume of data required by some bidders – even for a preliminary bid – and with potential buyers who wonder why they did not hear back from a seller. Our short form questionnaire helps get you in the door.

8. Card Operations Overview Questionnaire
(7 Pages): $250
When you become a finalist in a deal, then you want to gain a deeper understanding of the seller’s operation. Here is when we have an easily manageable form ready to communicate to the seller. Lots of deals have been won because a buyer understands when it’s time to hit the top levels and when it’s time to drill down deeper. Knowing the difference should get your team a win in 1 out of every 3 deals on which you bid. A potential portfolio buyer’s data deck asking for hundreds of pages of answers from a seller will go nowhere. Our short form will. Save the drill down for the on-site due diligence process.

9. Card Profitability ROA Chart
(2 pages): $500
Here is the R.K. Hammer estimate for the industry earnings on a year-by-year basis, over the past 25 years. Total revenue yield, charge offs, operating expense, blended cost of funds, leading to pre-tax net income, all expressed as a percentage of card outstandings.

10. Card Portfolio Valuations: The Due Diligence Examination Process
(4 pages): $125
A text article which ties to #3 above, covering development of your due diligence team, data needs and reporting forms you will want to consider, key drivers of the financial model, deal timeframes, and credit examination techniques, all designed to help you win more deals.

11. Card Acquisitions, Divestitures: Selecting a Transaction Advisor
(3 pages): $125
Why some card issuers buy card portfolio assets; why others sell; choosing an appropriate intermediary; steps in a divestiture; steps in an acquisition; fairness opinions; and post-closing customer sensitivity issues.

12. Getting the Most Value for your Credit Card Portfolio
(3 pages): $125
Why consider selling all or part of a portfolio; valuation; technical assistance; deal partnership aspect; time frames; and the human side of the equation. Important information to give to potential sellers.

13. Computing Card Portfolio Transaction Value
(2 pages): $125
Post-closing financial adjustments to the date-of-sale purchase price. There is often a large difference between a stated premium bid for good open-to-buy accounts and what is ultimately booked into income by a seller at closing and post-closing.

14. Total Card Portfolios Sold since 1990, by Geographic Region
(2 pages): $125
Deal flow by area in the U.S., between 1990 and last year.

15. Vendor Questionnaire
4 pages: $125
A more systematic way of comparing competing vendors – of any product line – so that you even use it for your current vendor(s); for use with all RFP’s. Helps get you the best vendor price at optimal service levels.

16. Total Card Deals Done since 1990, by Asset Size Range
(1 page): $125
How many deals were completed 1990 – last year in four asset size classes: jumbo, large, medium, and small, defined by specific dollar range amounts.

17. Cost Per Acquired Card Account, C.P.A., 2000 – last year
(2 pages): $125
Cost trends to book new credit card accounts for the past ten years, including metrics for average cost, cost range, and solicitation response rates, by year.

18. Private Label Programs vs. Co-Branded
(12 pages): $350
An assessment of the financial gain of migrating a portion of a private label credit portfolio to a more profitable, less risky national brand file. Why do it, how to best do it, and the most important element of the solution: the P/L impact of such a product/cardholder migration. Earn 1.67% ROA greater.

19. Credit Card Industry P/L
(3 pages): $250
A revealing year-end financial comparison of the last two years P/L performance for the credit card issuing industry: revenue and expense streams, pie charts, Y/Y changes

20. Credit Card Fee Income
3 pages: $250
A year-end comparison of fee income earned by the card industry for the last two years. Dollars and percentages of total fee income for each category: Interchange Income, Penalty Fee Income, Cash Advance Fees, Annual Fees, and Enhancement Income. Fees for prime and super prime cards now cross over the 50% of total revenue mark for the first time ever.

21. Agent Card Program Performance
(2 pages): $250
R.K. Hammer’s year end comparative model for “Best-in-Class” Performers, Medium Performers, and Weak Performers; showing average number of new booked accounts per branch per month and per year, for the card industry last year. What sales training and incentive strategies and daily action plans can often separate the three performance categories.

22. Bank Fees vs. Card Fees (as a % of total income)
(1 page): $150
Multi-year comparison of the percentage of the annual amount banks earn in fees vs. what cards earn in fees, as a percentage of total fee income for each in the Hammer model(s).

23. Early Warning Portfolio “Red Flags” for Investors
(11 pages): $500
Whether hedge funds, investment management companies, or private equity investors, the kinds of things which can and do surface early on to give an indication of risk ahead all investors need to know.

24. Criteria by Card Portfolio Sellers (priority ranked)
(2 pages): $350
In an exclusive R.K. Hammer industry survey, we polled past portfolio sellers, to verify what exact elements of bids they chose as most important, and how they ranked six of them in priority order.

25. Net Charge Offs vs. Unemployment Rates
(1 page): $125
How Card industry loan losses (net of recoveries) compare to annual U.S. unemployment rates in the Hammer model(s), from 1995 – present.

26. Value-Based Cardholder Pricing Strategy
(2 pages): $125
This briefing compares the effectiveness of Cost-Based, vs. Market- Based vs. “Value-Based” Cardholder pricing strategies, and how those have changed over the decades.

27. P/E Multiples for Card Portfolio Sales
(1 page): $250
What card portfolios have sold for, in terms of a “ROA earnings multiple.” How many years of earnings are buyers willing to give up to win the bid; a ten year year/year history, up to this year.

28. “Risk-Adjusted” Card Revenue
(1 page): $250
A ten-year look at top line revenue less default risk for the card business, graphed year by year.

29. Card Portfolio Deal Flow – Prices Expected in the Current Year
(1 page): $500
R.K. Hammer’s Card Knowledge Factory™ projections for the current year, in terms of what sellers might expect to be paid, regarding “per-account” price ranges – for four major industry portfolio segments.National Brand (MC/V), Prepaid Portfolios, Private Label Portfolios, and Subprime Deals.

30. Hiring Sales Super Stars
(15 pages): $750
In an R.K. Hammer exclusive, sales position applicant traits and attributes which can lead to a more successful sales staff. This, based upon research and case study from the author’s Master’s Degree thesis in Organizational Psychology, for improving selection procedures and retention rates for sales people, with “statistically significant” correlations from that research, and the system that uses them.

31. “That’s Still the Way I See It”
(127 pages): $200
The latest Hammer publication, and “a first,” a personal chronicle of three decades of doing card deals, due diligence and negotiating card contracts, consisting of syndicated articles by CEO Bob Hammer, from true stories and events that have shaped his opinions and beliefs, and the ways he looks at doing good business for clients; a career road map for independent entrepreneurs and card managers alike.