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Give a little gain a lot

With banks facing competition not only from within their own sector but also from new corporate entrants such as Tesco, loyalty programmes seem to be more important than ever.

I recently read a survey on Brand Keys Loyalty Leaders, which highlighted that people want to engage with brands, but in a meaningful way. A different piece of research from Santander earlier in the year reported that 20 per cent of all Brits had the same current account for more than 30 years.

In Turkey, we realised that there are a number of things that are crucial to introduce solid and meaningful loyalty programmes. For example, merging credit card benefits with a shopping card, offering cash-back reward "bonuses" that can be redeemed at our retail partners proved very attractive to our customers. This tactic conveyed a message to the consumers that we care and we’re willing to give something back. What’s more, in order for loyalty programmes to be as effective as possible, it’s important that banks partner with companies that can add real value to the mix and ensure that target consumers are reached via the right channels.

Furthermore, brand loyalty is driven by emotion. This means that personalisation of products and customer loyalty are tightly interlinked. For example, our cardholders are able to create a personalised card with its own interest rate, reward system, card fee and own card design.

While customer acquisition across all sectors is important, it is also costly and therefore customer retention is where the focus lies at the moment. By knowing who you’re targeting and adopting the right communication channel, banks can increase their payment card loyalty and adoption levels at a time when new players are entering the banking market with seemingly attractive offers.

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