On 11th July 2014
Banks are increasingly using rewards and loyalty programs as a tool for maintaining relationships with top-end customers, as these relationships provide high potential for revenue generation. Financial institutions are putting forward premium experiences and offers to increase loyalty and develop deeper banking relationships. Rightly positioned, unique rewards act as a key differentiator in a highly commoditized financial services market.
To remain profitable, banks have been making changes to their strategies and operational models which includes finding the optimum mix of funding options and reward offerings to achieve greater levels of customer loyalty and profitability. Both issuers and card schemes are partnering with airlines, hotels and popular brands to offer merchant-funded rewards. The strategy allows card issuers to improve the value of their reward credit cards without putting upward pressure on costs.
Consumers are traveling more than ever, and forecasts for outbound trips indicate that this trend will continue over the next five years in key economies. Consequently, card issuers and schemes offer credit cards that focus on travel benefits to increase customer retention and attract new customers. Travel credit card customers are often offered lounge access at airports, free or heavily discounted air tickets, preferential treatment at hotels and resorts, free valet parking, discounted limousine services, and insurance cover that ranges from travel accident to lost and delayed baggage, to trip cancellation.
There is increased investment in customer engagement strategies. Schemes and issuers are offering personal concierge services on their top-end credit cards, or access to exclusive events to differentiate their products. Issuers are also expanding their presence on social media and mobile platforms through various apps to drive brand