Fiserv (NASDAQ:FISV), a leading provider of information technology services to the financial industry, today announced the introduction of its UChoose Rewards solution, an innovative rewards and loyalty product which provides merchant-funded and issuer-funded rewards capabilities for financial institution clients.
In addition, Fiserv announced that it has signed Central Pacific Bank of Honolulu as one of the first clients for UChoose Rewards.
The Fiserv rewards product enables clients to build programs based on the wants and needs of their cardholders. Developed to give cardholders the ability to earn points faster and redeem them from a wider range of reward choices, UChoose Rewards will give consumers and businesses the ability to earn rewards through both debit and credit card usage at hundreds of national, regional, local and online retailers. Cardholders can use the program's website, uchooserewards.com to seamlessly accumulate and redeem rewards ranging from online shopping to travel and tickets to sporting events.
"The key to UChoose Rewards is the many choices it gives our financial institutions - rewards for debit, credit, even for opening an account. Adding points for debit card usage to the mix allows financial institutions to reward account holders for one of the fastest growing payment methods. We are giving our clients the ability to tailor the UChoose program to fit their own needs," said Pat Foy, president of Fiserv Card Services.
To create this complete, customizable solution for financial institutions, Fiserv has teamed with Affinity Solutions, Inc., a leading designer of merchant-funded, issuer-funded and enterprise rewards programs and Bridge2 Solutions, a leading redemptions provider. Fiserv's clients will now have the ability to offer their cardholders a more engaging and accelerated rewards experience, where they will earn more when shopping at participating national, regional, and online retailers, creating an environment that extends beyond rebates and discounts by allowing cardholders to experience web content and tools that align with their interests and preferences.
"Rewards have become a powerful force shaping competition among financial institutions. Yet, small financial institutions have generally lacked the capabilities and funding to rival with the programs of their larger competitors," said Gwenn Bézard, Research Director with Aite Group. "Products such as UChoose Rewards not only help smaller institutions close the gap, but literally propel them to the forefront of the reward evolution," adds Bézard.
With Fiserv's merchant-funded rewards, financial institution clients may be able to eliminate up to 90 percent of the rewards redemption expense typically experienced in an issuer funded program. Foy adds that clients who decide to implement a blended program could increase card activation, increase spend and reduce attrition. "Research has proven that card activation rates, spend per transaction and overall transaction volumes are all positively influenced by rewards and loyalty programs. The UChoose Rewards merchant-funded approach provides the additional benefits of helping our clients enhance their cardholder relationships at little additional cost while bringing added value to participating merchants through increased cardholder spending," said Foy.
This wide array of options is why Central Pacific Bank, Honolulu, will be one of the first financial institutions to implement the UChoose Rewards program. The Hawaii bank was one of six Fiserv clients to participate in a pilot program to test the concept.
"Central Pacific Bank spent a couple of years looking for a rewards program that would be unique in the Hawaii market - one that would excite our customers and add even more value to their Visa debit cards," said Andrew Rosen, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Central Pacific Bank. "When Fiserv first told us about this program, we were happy to join the pilot because we were familiar with the product and knew it would appeal to our customers. Our experience in the pilot has gone very well; UChoose is doing everything we were told it would. It is performing well and our employees who have seen it are really excited about introducing it to our customers."
The Fiserv rewards solution will also allow financial institutions to offer their customers the ability to combine points earned for all their bank or credit union accounts, receive cash back for their card usage and use the program to earn entertainment rewards as well as millions of items of merchandise. The UChoose Rewards program allows institutions to offer relationship-based rewards, for example, points for opening a new account or taking out a loan with the institution. Plus, UChoose Rewards has a wide range of customizable marketing materials as well as multiple options in setting up the program.
UChoose Rewards is now available to all of the current financial institution clients of Fiserv EFT and Fiserv Credit Processing Services.