A friend of mine lost his loyalty card a couple of years ago with over 10 years of accumulated points he diligently collected by always refueling at the same petrol brand.
When he found the card again, he quickly learned that all his points were lost because the card was “inactive” for more than a year. He was furious and frustrated, abandoned the brand for good, but nevertheless, unable to redeem his long-earned loyalty rewards.
Cases like this, lost points, cumbersome redemption procedures, overpriced and useless reward goods, obviously annoy most people.
We all have similar bitter experience with the handful of loyalty cards we all end up with over the years in our consumer society today.
Customer loyalty is still growing, and people keep signing up, but the churn rate is vast. Traditional customer loyalty schemes suck. They are generally outdated and many use wrong incentives. Let me collect and comment some data from recent loyalty research.
- 78 percent of consumers are not loyal to a particular brand (Nielsen), and consumers belong to an average of 13.4 loyalty programs, but are active in only 6.7 (Bond). Probably because they have no reason to stay loyal due to irrelevant reward propositions and annoying redemption processes.
- 69 percent of adults are more likely to use their loyalty card if it’s on their phones (Urban Airship). We know that people tend to have their mobile phones with them all the time. Loyalty will go mobile, but how to make it difficult to forget? That is the million-dollar question.
- Top two reasons consumers continue to participate in a loyalty program are: easy to understand (81 percent) and rewards and offers are relevant (75 percent). Cash is easy to understand and it also relevant for most, I would guess.
So what then?
It is clear, and recent research proves it, that reward beats brand and mobile apps are the future for customer loyalty.
With the current smart phone penetration, I see no reason why mobile could not replace plastic in loyalty. Ultimately, even all, and for good.
Imagine, if you could collect your cash rewards instantly with your phone, straight upon the purchases? Real cash, real time? That would be pretty cool, wouldn’t it? No more lost points and no more useless rewards.
Once entered, I can’t see a reason for anybody abandoning or being inactive in a cash-back programm. Such solutions could simply help people save money on their everyday purchases.
That begs the question: Why there is no such a consumer friendly, flexible and innovative solution on the market until now?
One of the reasons certainly is the complexity of the necessary setup. To make this approach work, you’ll need a fully transparent, e-money based loyalty program operated in cooperation with licensed financial service institutions. The legal and technological setup makes this approach unique and revolutionary.
Today the technology is already available, and finally there is supporting payment legislation, at least in Europe. These factors could well facilitate innovation and the development of such solutions. Disruptive FinTech systems could enter customer loyalty with full steam now.
This understanding prompted us to put together a new, app-based customer loyalty solution for instant e-money cash back. We call it ReCASHeR and hope to release it in 2017.
The programm will help merchants operate a simple system and interact with their customers alongside their specific interest. People can collect cash rewards and make payments with this free app.
No more points and no more cards, just instantly available cash rewards, that is ReCASHeR.
Customer loyalty is long overdue for a change. We strongly believe that FinTech solutions facilitating instant cash back are the future of loyalty. Our innovative technology here could provide a new generic platform that could change customer loyalty for the better.
Richard Hollmann is an investment expert with a proven track record of delivering outstanding results via team leadership in a exciting retail investment market including both traditional and alternative fields. He’s the founder of CashBackUnion; founder and CEO of Goldato Invest Plc.; and chairman of the Executive Board of Fundconsult Investment Plc.
Lajos Ludman works with Richard Hollmann on the CashBackUnion/ReCASHeR project. He has been in payment for about 10 years. He’s a shareholder and a non-exec chairman of CARDNET in sunny Hungary.
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