Electronic payments outfit TSYS has acquired Enhancement Services Corporation (ESC) which provides targeted loyalty consulting and travel, as well as gift card and merchandise reward programmes to more than 40 national and regional financial institutions in the United States, including two top-ten banks.
TSYS EVP Troy Woods says the addition of ESC's loyalty solutions will drive new business for the company.
"Loyalty programmes are proven to increase receivables, increase transactions and strengthen customer relationships. TSYS clients outsource those programmes to other vendors today, and they have indicated that they would rather consolidate that business with TSYS," he says.
Of the 617 million credit cards in use in 2002, only a small percentage of the MasterCard and Visa cards participated in a points-based loyalty programme. Since 2001, these programs have continued to grow rapidly. Research indicates that cardholders who use a loyalty programme spend four to five times more than cardholders without loyalty programmes.
"Because loyalty programme management is not a core competency for most financial institutions, many actively seek a partner capable of providing comprehensive loyalty programme management," says Steven Wilson, ESC president and CEO who will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the firm as a TSYS subsidiary.