Overview 

We help financial services companies and their partners solve their most complex challenges across credit cards, unsecured loans, and merchant acquiring.

Built on over three decades of groundbreaking innovation, deep experience, and consistent outcomes, The Kessler Group develops and executes strategies that help financial services companies solve their most complex challenges.

We develop more effective partnerships, optimize the value of credit card portfolios, fund risk-based marketing campaigns, and develop and execute marketing strategies.

The proven result for our clients and partners is stronger growth, greater profits, and long-term, lasting business value.

The Kessler Group has proactively helped shape and transform the payments industry for more than three decades. And while we help our clients adapt to remain relevant and successful, we also continuously transform ourselves to remain at the leading edge of innovation and performance.

A History of Innovation

Headquartered in Boston and with offices in Delaware and Australia, The Kessler Group was founded by Howard Kessler with a singular vision: we can maximize clients’ credit card portfolio value by creating partnerships between card issuers and renowned companies and organizations. This approach gave issuing banks access to unique lists while helping partners deepen their engagement with their members, fans, alumni, supporters and customers.

Since creating the affinity credit card in the early 1980s, Howard and his team of financial services experts have spent the past three decades building and expanding the business far beyond its credit card roots.  As a result, The Kessler Group is widely known for developing elegant solutions to the most complex problems faced by our clients.

Innovative partnerships and concepts created by The Kessler Group continue to reshape the payments industry. The result — billions of dollars of value for our financial services clients and their non-profit and co-brand partners.

 
 
 

1979 

The affinity credit card concept is developed by Howard Kessler

1979 

The Kessler Group takes the lead in signing affinity partnerships on behalf of partner banks, primarily MBNA (now Bank of America), eventually creating over 6,000 partnerships

 
 
 

1986 

The affinity concept expands to member organizations such as unions

1986 

Kessler develops and places the National Education Association (NEA) program to provide credit card benefits to its members

 
 
 

1989 

Smaller banks’ credit cards can now be issued by monoline issuers

1989 

Kessler identifies banking institutions to partner with MBNA

 
 
 

1996 

US monoline credit card issuers expand internationally

1996 

Kessler establishes international offices in key markets to develop affinity relationships on behalf of its partner banks

 
 
 

1997 

Retailers aggressively pursue co-branded card programs

1997 

Kessler signs a large retailer on behalf of MBNA, creating the single most successful retailer co-brand program in the US

 
 
 

1999 

The insurance industry embraces the affinity concept

1999 

Kessler formulates a partnership between MBNA and a large insurer

 
 
 

2001 

Subprime credit card lending growth accelerates

2001 

Kessler designs the “risk syndication” model for credit cards (loan turn-down reconsideration programs) with two large client banks

 
 
 

2003 

Large monoline issuer Providian looks for creative cost containment strategies

2003 

Kessler purchases Providian’s marketing operations and enters into a long-term marketing relationship with Providian, creating Kessler Pacific

 
 
 

2005 

MBNA sale to Bank of America creates demand from MBNA agent banks to reacquire their card businesses

2005 

Kessler develops amicable solutions on behalf of a number of large regional banks

 
 
 

2007 

Credit card industry growth and marketing expense is at an all-time high

2007 

Kessler forms Kessler Capital Holdings to fund new account acquisition marketing initiatives on behalf of its clients

 
 
 

2008 

Global recession causes card issuers to curtail new account acquisition marketing activity

2008 

Kessler creates turn-key diagnostics to assist partner banks in optimizing value from existing card portfolios

 
 
 

2009 

The Card ACT passes US Congress

2009 

Kessler helps partner banks make decisions on how to restructure and remarket card programs

 
 
 

2010 

Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, including the Durbin Amendment, which regulates debit interchange, is passed by the US Congress

2010 

Kessler supports partners in developing and executing Durbin mitigation strategies and tactics