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Scotiabank teams with Berkeley Payment Solutions to launch Visa pre-paid card

27 May 2008  |  6028 views  |  0 Source: Scotiabank, Berkeley Payment Solutions

Scotiabank has collaborated with Berkeley Payment Solutions to launch one of Canada's first suite of corporate prepaid Visa cards.

Hugely popular in the United States, prepaid Visa card payment solutions benefit companies seeking proven cost-effective payment solutions that extend their company's brand and resonate with employees, customers, and partners.

This new suite of payment solutions feature branded, re-loadable prepaid Visa cards that provide the ease-of-use of a credit card with the universal appeal of cash and the satisfaction of a personal reward. By allowing cardholders to redeem their reward anyway and anywhere they want, prepaid Visa cards are the ultimate win-win solution: employees, customers and partners want to receive meaningful and convenient reward and incentive options (based on choice and flexibility) while companies want to eliminate the time, cost and hassle associated with the disbursement of checks and/or merchandise.

"Given the market for prepaid Visa cards is experiencing significant growth across North America, Scotiabank's collaboration with industry-leader Berkeley Payment Solutions gives us the ability to offer a new suite of innovative corporate payment solutions to the under-serviced Canadian marketplace," explains Rubina Havlin, Vice President, Credit Cards, Scotiabank. "Our clients and the many other Canadian companies who have been searching for a cost-effective alternative to deliver and manage reward and incentive programs will now have the versatility, flexibility and choice they have been seeking."

Using an innovative prepaid Visa platform (featuring all the security and flexibility associated with the Visa brand) and providing timely, useful and accurate reporting metrics to measure the success of each payment program, Scotiabank and Berkeley's prepaid Visa cards both increase program participation and motivate participants to exceed program goals. Other important results include increased marketing return on investment, significant lifts in sales, enhanced employee motivation and enhanced employee retention.

"Not only are prepaid Visa cards less costly to issue than cheques and merchandise, companies are discovering its significant value as a marketing tool," explains David Eason, CEO, Berkeley Payment Solutions. "Showcasing a company or product's name or logo on each prepaid Visa(R) card allows it to establish a positive association with the brand each time a cardholder uses it to make a purchase."

Nissan Canada selected Scotiabank and Berkeley to spearhead two recent reward programs. In October 2007, the "Nissan Rogue Test Drive Direct-mail" program invited customers to test drive the all-new Nissan Rogue and gave them the option of being rewarded with a Nissan prepaid Visa card. In addition, and among the first programs of its kind in Canada, Nissan launched its "Bonus Days" program in December 2007 which provided customers with the choice of receiving either a Nissan-branded prepaid Visa gift card or a rebate upon the purchase of one of four Nissan vehicles (Rogue, Altima, Sentra or Versa).

"Nissan Canada strives to stand out from the crowd with innovative and effective ways to incent and reward our customers," explained Jason Legere, Manager, Sales Planning, Nissan Canada.

Scotiabank and Berkeley also worked closely with LG Electronics Canada to launch its LG Shine cell phone in October 2007. As part of its "Born to Shine" campaign, an LG-branded re-loadable prepaid Visa card was issued to more than 1,500 retail sales associates at cellular dealerships across Canada. The reward structure was clearly communicated by LG's national sales team at the launch of the campaign and funds were regularly loaded onto each person's card based on the volume of all LG cell phones sold.

"The LG Shine prepaid Visa campaign is seen as a tremendous success on every level by both our Canadian management team and our head office in Korea," explained Beverley Battram, Director of National Accounts, LG Canada. "Not only was our lift in sales much higher than anticipated, it was one of the easiest incentive programs for our national sales team to both implement and communicate to dealer sales associates. This program delivered such outstanding results and such a win-win proposition for everyone involved - both internally and externally - that we intend to re-launch a similar program in May," concluded Battram.

Eason explains that employee reward, compensation and incentive programs have been around for decades, but corporate incentive choices haven't evolved much beyond catalogues. However, more and more Canadian companies are starting to turn to prepaid Visa cards because they are finding it virtually impossible to anticipate what their employees want to receive as an incentive or reward. In fact, Eason's analysis of a recent prepaid Visa card campaign worth hundreds of thousands of dollars found that collectively, cardholders did not spend more than 10% of funds in one single merchant category. However, even if a category could be identified, it would be almost impossible to select the "right" brand or store desired by each individual. This is why giving cardholders the choice and flexibility to redeem their rewards anyway and anywhere they want is the ultimate win-win situation.

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