The facilitator looked out at the crowd, his marker at the ready: “And now’s the fun part: if you had a magic wand, what would you want in your business credit card?”
It was an unusual question, but the business owners who had come from as far away as New York and Portland, were prepared.
“So for me, travel is the most important.”
“I want a card that earns the most points.”
“A card has to be flexible in order to meet the needs of a lot of different types of small businesses.”
Over the next few days, the group discussed and debated, working out their ideas on white boards and colored Post-it®Notes. By the end, they’d come up with the framework for the U.S. Bank Business Leverage™ Visa Signature®, the card that completely rethinks how businesses are rewarded.
If you’re picturing banks as just buildings and online portals, the collaboration may seem surprising. But listening to customers, truly understanding who they are, how they work, and what they need, is central to how U.S. Bank is creating its future.
For Heather Wolfsmith, who runs the small business card team at U.S. Bank, the process is personal. “I’m from Omaha. My parents are small business owners. They’ve actually been U.S. Bank customers for over 30 years,” Wolfsmith said. “They know when something is ‘all hat, no cattle,’ or ‘all show, no substance.’ A business card has to be about value, not just style – something that can lead to a better bottom line. That makes the difference for an owner who wants to travel, hire more people, expand to a new location, and give back more to the community. It was exciting for me to work on this project and help create something that will help business owners, just like my mom and dad.”
It's this same thinking that led to another unique feature of the Leverage card: not only is it designed by and for businesses – it’s also delivered by small businesses, as the bank tapped owners in its supplier network to produce marketing materials for the card.