Instacart and DoorDash Announce Plans for Credit Cards


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Instacart and DoorDash are both planning to launch credit cards, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. On one hand, I feel like these pandemic favorites are both a little bit late to the party. I’m sure they wish they had come out with these cards a year ago. But better late than never, of course.

Retail credit cards have actually been declining for more than a decade now. According to Equifax, there were about twice as many retail credit cards in circulation back in 2009, compared to now. Much of that decline, though, can be attributed to the fall of brick-and-mortar retail, specifically department stores. As digital-first brands, I do think that Instacart and DoorDash are in a better position.

The buy now, pay later industry has also cut into retail credit cards, but I don’t think that’s the best fit for Instacart or DoorDash, either. That tends to be more of a physical goods kind of thing – clothes, furniture, electronics – not really consumables like food.

And, while the online grocery market and food delivery have both really taken off over the past year, they both have a lot of room yet to run. They still represent small portions of the overall grocery and dining markets. So I do think that there’s a lot of potential here.

I think what Instacart and DoorDash are after is loyalty. They’re trying to get repeat customers. They’re trying to get new customers. It’s a competitive space. And I think by offering something like 5% cash back when you use their credit card with their brand – I think something like that could really be a winning proposition.

So it’s still in the rumor stage now, but I think if something like this does come to fruition, I think they’ll get a lot of takers.

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