A company that for 10 years has been tracking credit card solicitations in the mail has broadened its scope to include pitches delivered on the Internet.

Behavioral Analysis Inc., a marketing research and consulting firm based in Tarrytown, N.Y., found that the number of credit card issuers with sites on the World Wide Web jumped from 10 at midyear to 50 by yearend.

The Internet is still a new marketing tool, said Lisa Itzkowitz, marketing director for the firm. "It won't generate nearly the kinds of numbers we see in direct mail. In the short term, it's not a major (account) acquisition channel."

At least 11 of those Internet sites, including those of Advanta Corp., American Express, Bank of America, and Chemical Bank, allow browsers to apply for credit cards on-line, Behavioral Analysis found in its study of this new direct marketing vehicle.

The research firm found that a number of issuers, including Bank of the Commonwealth, Barnett Bank, First Hawaiian, and Glendale Federal, have on- line mechanisms that customers can use to ask for applications or information.

Other issuers, including Citibank, First USA, and Wells Fargo offer application forms that can be downloaded, completed, and faxed or mailed back. All give information about the cards, plus list a toll-free number for consumer inquiries.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.