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Loyalty and Cashback Card Rewards - August 2014

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A special on Loyalty and Cashback Card Rewards by Red Door Productions, published by Khaleej Times.
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  • If growing online shopping statis-tics from the past few years have been any indication, buyers will again be flocking to online retailers this holiday season perhaps in larger numbers than ever before.

    However, as people become in-creasingly savvier as Web shoppers, awareness and concerns about on-line privacy and safety have also grown. As many as 91 per cent of consumers say that theyre con-cerned about privacy when shop-ping online. Frequent news stories about consumer information being sold or mishandled have helped contribute to an atmosphere of mis-trust, and more than half of consum-ers say they dont trust businesses with their personal information.

    For those who love the conve-nience and choice that come along with online shopping, there are a few ways to ensure that your infor-mation is kept safe and private:

    Read privacy policies. Youve 1. probably seen them countless times, but how often have you

    actually read a privacy policy? If youve shopped without read-ing, youre certainly not alone. While 97 per cent of websites have a privacy policy, those doc-uments average nearly 2,500 words. It would take the average person at least 10 minutes to read that, and not too many on-line shoppers want to spend that much time. However, reading the privacy policy will give you the details about what a site is doing to keep your information safe.

    Adjust your privacy settings. 2. With a bit of tweaking, you can adjust your cookies and make your computer more protected and cut down on inadvertent data leakage. However, be pre-pared to spend some time doing this, and remember that each browser is different. If you use multiple browsers on multiple computers, youll need to con-figure them all to your prefer-ences. If making those changes is beyond the scope of your tech-nological knowledge, you can try asking for help from a savvy friend or family member, or an electronics store employee might be able to help.

    Look for privacy verification 3. seals. Perhaps the easiest, quick-est way to ensure that an online retailer is trustworthy is to look for seals and logos certifying a websites privacy practices, such as the green TRUSTe Certified Privacy Seal. Its an easy at-a-glance way to get an idea of how dedicated a retailer is to protect-ing its customers, but keep in mind that if you want to learn more, you can click on the seal to get more detailed information about the sites privacy practices. There are also browser add-ons that can help you find e-com-merce sites that carry the seals, and an online directory of par-ticipating websites that you can browse.

    You can shop with more confi-dence if you know that your per-sonal information is safe. As retail-ers learn that consumers demand more privacy measures, they will respond to it by making their poli-cies more easily available.

    BPT

    Sadiq Shaban

    WHeTHeR it is about retain-ing existing customers or a t t r a c t i n g new ones,

    businesses have a new mantra: Reward and loyalty cards. Besides providing a realistic reason for continuing to associate with a business or brand, these cards help accumulate points, usually towards a reward, future redemp-tion or higher levels of service. Moreover, it helps brands gather useful information about the cli-entele, paving way for a more ef-ficient and effective service.

    Businesses are increasingly re-sponding to customers requests for greater control and flexibility as the trend of reward cards go up. No wonder loyalty cards re-ward cardholders, who often pay with plastic at different types of merchants including specific re-tailers and online purchases. As it showcases a push toward greater flexibility, these programmes al-low cardholders the option to choose between rewards in the form of cash or points. Most brand loyalty cards come with zero annual fees, besides provid-ing a number of benefits when used to make any purchase.

    Dubbed as a point card, advan-tage card, reward card or club card, loyalty cards are visually similar to

    a credit card or debit card that identify the cardholder as a mem-ber in a loyalty programme. Often issued by a retail establishment to a consumer who can then use it as a form of identification when deal-ing with that retailer, loyalty cards entitle a holder to a discount on the current purchase, or an allot-

    ment of points that can be used for future purchases.

    As it promotes customer touch points and understands the value of being agile and flexible, cash-back rewards and loyalty pro-grammes have gained immense popularity. Market watchers and analysts note that customers are

    first and foremost looking for the most beneficial cards and pro-grammes to utilise in their daily lives. While people want value-added benefits and perks, they usually dislike the limitations that credit cards typically come with.

    United Arab Bank (UAB), one of the fastest growing banks in the

    Middle east, recently emerged as the winner of the Best Customer Loyalty Programme for the sec-ond year consecutively in the prestigious Banker Middle East UAe Product Awards 2014. UAB, with its Rewards Programme, is the only bank to win this presti-gious accolade two years in a row, and impressively, in less than two years since its introduction. The programme, which is linked to a range of UAB products, has rap-idly evolved, expanding from pre-viously offering a handful of air-line redemption options to over now more than 900 airlines, 200,000 hotels worldwide, 150 global rent a car destinations, over 2,000 electronic and life-style items, and official FC Barce-lona merchandise.

    Reward and loyalty cards help build a relationship between a business and the customer. It is a two-way traffic in terms of im-proved behavioural loyalty from the customer and increased bot-tom-line profits for the brand. In fact, various studies carried out on consumer behaviour conclude that customers are more likely to be loyal if they have a sense of asso-ciation with a brand. This associa-tion creates advocates for business as well. A personal recommenda-tion is often considered more con-vincing than business promotion. A programme that entwines loy-alty and a sense of affiliation is a winner all the way.

    [email protected]

    RewaRds and loyalty caRds offeR gReat flexibility foR consumeRs

    Businesses are increasingly responding to customers requests for greater control and flexibility as the trend of reward cards go up. No wonder loyalty cards reward cardholders, who often pay with plastic at different types of merchants including specific retailers and online purchases.

    Building Bondskhaleej times / ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT SUNDAy, AUGUST 31, 2014

    ENABLING LOYALTY ON PAYMENT CARDSthrough our terminals at retails across the UAE

    RFM owns and operates a network of credit card terminals (POS terminals) at

    retails across UAE processing AED 5 billion payment card transactions in 2013 through

    NBAD Bank. Issuer banks can enable loyalty through our terminals by using our

    loyalty host XLS from Welcome Realtime (www.welcome-rt.com), France.

    T +971 4 451 [email protected]

    Theres no need to shy away from purchases off the net if you are well-protected

    Safe online shopping

    Click with confidence: Three tips to protect your privacy when shopping online.

  • I I khaleej times / ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENTSUNDAy, AUGUST 31, 2014 LoyaLty Cards, rewards + Cash BaCk Cards

  • RFM Loyalty is a payment infra-structure and processing com-pany based in Dubai, UAE. It designs, hosts and manages re-wards programmes for banks, retailers, hotels and malls. The business can be divided into POS terminals network owner and operator processing visa, master card and AMEX transactions; and a loyalty programme opera-tor for banks, retailers, hotels and malls.

    RFM was formed in Pakistan in 2002 and owned the POS ter-minal network for United Bank Limited (UBL). It has hosted and managed rewards programmes for UBL Bank on South Asias first EMV (EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa) chip card in 2003. It expanded to the UAE in 2007 with the enablement of loyalty function on ADCB payment cards.

    RFMs milestone in 2008 fea-tured the deployment of POS terminals for the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) across the UAE. Its humble beginnings slowly snowballed into 5,000-plus terminals processing card transactions worth Dh550 mil-lion per month for the bank. It aims to cross Dh7 billion in 2014 processed through its network.

    Issuer-only banks can use the network of POS terminals, de-ployed at thousands of retail zones across the UAE by RFM, to enable instant award/instant redemption-based loyalty pro-

    grammes. Its loyalty host XLS, by Welcome Real-time (www.welcome-rt.com), enables pay-ment cards with loyalty features that can prove to be a strong competitive advantage for banks. It also has a team of 20-plus sales staff with knowledge and rela-tionship with major retailers in the UAE.

    I I Ikhaleej times / ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENTSUNDAy, AUGUST 31, 2014LoyaLty Cards, rewards + Cash BaCk Cards

    Promising rewards and paymentsRFM Loyalty features terminals processing card transactions for various sectors across the UAE

    Iqbal Mahmood, CEO & Founder

    RFMs milestone in 2008 featured the deployment of POS terminals for the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) across the UAE. Its humble beginnings slowly snowballed into 5,000-plus terminals processing card transactions worth Dh550 million per month for the bank. It aims to cross Dh7 billion in 2014 processed through its network.

    MILESToNES

    2002 RFM formed with funding from a VC fund

    2003 Deployed Pakistans first EMV POS terminal network for UBL bank

    2003 Launched South Asias first EMV credit card with UBL loyalty hosted and managed by RFM

    2005 Network of POS exceeds 6,000 terminals across six cities

    2006 Formed RFM UAE

    2007 Exited RFM Pakistan with 45 per cent IRR for VC fund and 400 per cent IRR for private shareholders

    2007 Entered into contract with ADCB Bank to enable loyalty on ADCB cards

    2008 Entered into contract with NBAD Bank to recruit merchants and deploy and manage POS terminals

    2011 Crossed Dh3 billion in card transactions

    2013 Crossed Dh5 billion in card transactions

    2014 Aiming to cross Dh7 billion in card transactions

    The Mashreq Smart Saver Credit Card stands out from com-petition as the only credit card in the UAE which offers customers a guaranteed clean and clear sav-ing of 1.25 per cent on every do-mestic transaction and a whop-ping 3.25 per cent save on every dirham spent overseas.

    Since the launch of the card in 2012, Mashreq has successfully pioneered and evolved the Ev-eryday Savings opportunities by partnering with 200 (and grow-ing) merchant partners across daily spend categories as diverse as supermarkets, retail and fash-ion, home furnishings, dry-clean-ing etc, where customers can save up to 6.25 per cent on their spends. In addition, Smart Saver cardholders also enjoy 5 per cent saving on all utility bill payments and fee payments made to educa-tional institutions in the UAE or abroad. With schools in the UAE re-opening soon, parents can save and ease the burden of school fees by simply paying with the Mashreq Smart Saver Card.

    Simplicity is another USP of this popular product. Unlike oth-er cash-back propositions that are often confusing for the customer to understand, Smart Saver has a very clear, transparent give-back to customers from the very first Dirham spent.

    The Mashreq Smart Saver Credit Card with its entire pack-age of every savings, dining and travel related benefits comes to the customer FREE for LIFE with no joining or annual fee. It is precisely for these reasons that the Mashreq Smart Saver franchise has grown to over 100,000 customers and bagged the award for Best Credit Card at the Smartcard Awards Middle East Awards 2013 within a year

    of its launch. The product has also won accolades from mer-chant partners who have wit-nessed significant increments on business volumes with in-creased spends by consumers on their SmartSaver cards.

    Commenting on SmartSaver and on their partnership with Mashreq, HR Amarnani, Execu-tive Director for Lals Group and Homes R Us states, The Smart Saver Credit Card is a wonderful product that offers our valued customers a delight-ful shopping experience and genuine savings.

    Nimish Dwivedi, Head of Payments, Mashreq reiterated, Since the launch of SmartSaver in 2012, we have continued to enhance and contemporise the proposition with a suite of ev-eryday offers that make the card a genuine Savings Vehicle. Smart Saver addresses the

    most-relevant customer spend categories with market-defining and very transparent cash-back benefits. Customers can thus look forward to a card experi-ence that not only accommo-dates their financial needs on an ongoing basis, but one that guarantees a smart saving.

    Save Smartly on everyday spends with the Mashreq SmartSaver Credit Card!

    Nimish Dwivedi, Head of Payments, Mashreq

    The Smart Saver Credit Card is a wonderful product that offers Mashreqs valued customers a delightful shopping experience and genuine savings.

    No annual fee ever! No spend tiers! No complex

    calculations!

  • Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli

    Who doesnt love getting a little extra on every p u r c h a s e ? Whether it is

    through cashback or reward points, which can be redeemed for a nifty gift later, we all love return benefits every time a dime is shelled out of our pockets.

    If you are among whose who consider cash is the king, then statistically, you are leaving as much as 6 per cent of your household budget with cashiers till each month, suggest industry experts.

    Paying cash robs you off the extra benefits that can otherwise be accrued through cashback or reward cards. By channelling your spends through the right accounts, you can get some significant rebates.

    Take, for instance, the award-winning reward point pro-gramme from United Arab Bank (UAB). The reward pro-gramme offers points almost every time money is credited into your account. For new joiners earning more than Dh20,000 per month, the bank gives bonus rewards equivalent to their salary credit in the first month. Besides, it also offers a wide choice of redemption op-tions from flights, hotels, car rentals, shopping and Barca merchandise.

    The choices are aplenty. Here are a few pointers to help you home in on the right card:

    Track your spending:

    Instead of giving in to the glib sales pitch of the sales-man of a card company, it is worth analysing your monthly or quarterly spend. There is no point in signing up for a card first then re-stricting or changing your spending pattern to suit its eligibility criteria. For ex-ample, if you spend Dh1,000 to Dh2,000 each month buying groceries from a particular supermar-ket, it is ideal to check if there is a credit card com-pany offering cashback or rewards on your purchases.

    Travel the world:

    If you are a wanderer and love to travel frequently, you will appreciate offers from a lot of financial com-panies in the UAE. Look for a card that lets you redeem loyalty or reward points for unrestricted travel. A lot of card companies allow re-demption of points for ho-tel stays, flight tickets, meals, etc.

    Memorable experiences:

    The UAE has plenty of fun-filled activities for people of all ages. From skydiving to hot air balloon rides, paragliding, dining at the highest restaurant in the world, et al, the choice is

    varied and in abundance. But often, people let go of these experiences to save a little extra or probably plough the available funds into daily expenses. If you are interested in occasion-ally basking in such adven-tures, look for a card that allows you to redeem points for such activities. You might not feel the pinch, and make memories for life.

    Nifty gifts:

    Last month when a friend got a new iPad Air, we all turned into green-eyed monsters. Available in the UAE for around Dh2,000, he got this one virtually for free through the points accumulated on his credit card. Credit card companies usually have a list of attractive gifts that can be redeemed for points. If you have loyalty cards, you can occasionally treat yourself with a new dress or accessory (again, virtually for free) at your favourite store.

    Whatever your interests, there is a card to suit that need. Make your wallet a workhorse by choos-ing the best card that suits your spending patterns and allow some money to make its way back into your pocket.

    [email protected]

    Choose the best card that suits your spending patterns for money to make its way back into your pocket

    Cash it in

    I V khaleej times / ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENTSUNDAy, AUGUST 31, 2014 LoyaLty Cards, rewards + Cash BaCk Cards

    Reward programmes offer points almost every time money is credited into your account. For new joiners earning more than Dh20,000 per month, some banks give bonus rewards equivalent to their salary credit in the first month.

    3

    1

    24

    On the surface, cashback reward credit cards look valuable to have. All things considered, theres nothing as cool as going out to do some shopping and receiving cash rebates for doing it. While they certainly offer cashback in-centives, there are a few points to look out for.

    When your card carries a spending maximum, it will mean you need to put a certain amount on your account before those cash return points start accumu-lating. The more the spending limit means the greater expenses you will accumulate. Hence, there is the increased probability that you may wind up negatively affecting your credit ratings through overcharging that card to obtain the cashback that you were looking for.

    While cashback reward credit cards grant you a certain amount on anything you pay for, several other credit card deals rule out selected merchants. Hence, if you buy at a certain store, you might not receive any cash rebates re-gardless of how much money you used on your acquisitions.

    Unfortunately, most people think that the money they recover from their bank card is actually their money and therefore end up being spent in the way they please. While some providers concur, there are some that actually ad-vise you on how to use the money you get in return.

    Despite the fact that perusing all the fine print is a wearing task, it really is essential to know pre-cisely what you will be receiving before you pick out one of those cashback reward credit cards. If you fail to do so, then you just might find yourself in arrears.

    It is nice to hear that a credit card will give you cashback re-wards, but have you wondered why and how it works? Before get-ting a cashback rewards credit card, one should have some idea about how it works and how to compute or calculate the percent-age cashback. Remember that while getting rewards, you can earn back some money for your everyday purchases.

    Having the best rewards de-pends on how much money you spend each year through your card. Use your credit cards as of-ten as you like and watch your

    cashback rewards get bigger and bigger. Yes, its nice to see and hear, but try to think if you can pay your credit cards on time be-fore the due date. If your mini-mum monthly amount only goes in paying interest and the capital figure is still there, then you are heading for serious trouble. Al-ways be aware of it so you can avoid drowning in debt.

    You can also calculate the per-centage cashback on rewards credit cards. Find out which ones earn you points, since not all your purchases may qualify. This is how it works: For every dirham you spend, you might receive a number of reward points. Make a list of that. Write down the points or rewards per dirham spent. See the points for reward or reward amount or say rewards equivalent.

    Different cards benefit differ-ent spending habits, choose yours wisely.

    Stay ahead of your gamePlay your cards right to take advantage of rewards

    Improving and maintaining a credit score isnt rocket science, but its important to stay on top of the factors that influence credit scores.

    Commercial Bank Internationals (CBI) Reward Card launched re-cently gives customers the oppor-tunity to earn points for every purchase made when using the card, accumulating even more points on larger value purchases and international spend, with ex-ceptional value for money.

    The two-in-one card is a tailor-made rewards programme offer-ing customers the convenience of a credit card and the power of a loyalty programme in one. Unlike the rewards programmes of com-peting credit cards, accumulated points do not expire and cardhold-ers have the option of redeeming them for cashback, airline tickets, hotel stays, car hire, online shop-ping, and more. Bonus points are also granted for the first credit card transaction to increase cus-tomer reward benefits.

    David Power, CBIs Head of Retail Banking, commented: We are very encouraged with the success seen thus-far on our Rewards Cards. This card gives CBI customers exactly what they want: More points, more conve-nience, and wider reward op-

    tions. As one of the most gener-ous rewards programmes in the UAE, as well as being one of the

    easiest to understand, it offers exactly the kind of value we want to deliver to our customers.

    In addition, the card comes with all of the attractive features and benefits provided on the Platinum MasterCard Credit Card that delivers additional value to customers in the areas of travel, shopping, dining and entertainment in the UAE and across the globe. This includes access to exclusive benefits and experiences offered by the Mas-terCard Priceless Arabia pro-gramme. Platinum Cardholders can also benefit from lounge ac-cess at select airports throughout the Middle East and avail the comprehensive insurance suite including Purchase Protection and Fraud Protection.

    These wide ranging benefits offer customers the most compre-hensive cards package in the mar-ket. This was re-enforced at the 2014 Banker Middle East Prod-uct Awards, where CBI was ad-judged as having the best credit card in the UAE, states Power.

    CBI re-launched its Retail Banking services in 2011. In a short time, the bank has success-fully managed to grow its retail customer base, refine its retail product offering, and increase its footprint to reach 21 branches and 128 ATMs across the UAE, with plans to expand further in the near term.

    Delivering convenience Rewards Cards from CBI provide award winning credit and reward benefits

    David Power

    We are very encouraged with the success seen thus-far on our Rewards Cards. This card gives CBI customers exactly what they want: More points, more convenience, and wider reward options.

    David Power

  • Vkhaleej times / ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENTSUNDAy, AUGUST 31, 2014LoyaLty Cards, rewards + Cash BaCk Cards

    UAB Rewards beat all other loyalty programmes

    Loyalty programmes are a common tool in the banking world and its no surprise that banks offer tempting rewards, points, miles and

    similar benefits to their clients. But it is a little surprising when an award-winning bank offers you an instant reward for simply transferring your salary to their bank or transferring your credit card balance.

    Winner of the Banker Middle East UAE Product Awards for Best Customer Loyalty Pro-gramme for 2013 and 2014, the real coup that UAB Rewards have managed is speed. When they say instant, it is literally Register, Transfer, and Win. United Arab Bank (UAB) also of-fers rewards on virtually every conventional and Islamic bank-ing product they offer, like salary transfer accounts, debit and credit cards.

    INSTANT REWARDS ON SALARy TRANSFER

    UABs salary transfer reward is among the most attractive be-cause its truly instant and very simple. Transfer your salary to UAB and you can instantly win a free flight. The rewards flights are very achievable. For a Dh25,000 salary, you can fly to

    Istanbul instantly. For a Dh43,000 salary, you can fly to London instantly. For a Dh22,000 salary plus a 5,539

    credit spend or transfer (or a Dh27,000 salary), you can fly to Mumbai instantly. And whats more is that every month you transfer your salary, you earn more rewards. One dirham equals one UAB reward point, so your points add up really quickly.

    MORE REWARDS ON LESS SPENDS

    Most banks and loyalty pro-grammes expect a large spend for very little in return and con-sumers despair of the complex-ity involved in the redemption process. But UAB gives you the same benefits, without red tape

    hassle, for 65 per cent less spend on your credit card. If it sounds incredible, let the numbers do the talking.

    For Platinum card spends to earn free flights, other banks usually expect a spend of any-where between Dh6,695 to Dh14,539 per month at the minimum for a free flight to Mumbai. Whereas with UAB, its a very low spend of only Dh5,539 per month to fly to Mumbai. Similarly, as compared to spends of Dh7,980 or Dh19,896 per month for a free flight to Istanbul, which is an ever popular holiday destination from Dubai, UAB only expects a spend of Dh5,050 per month. Even for a long-haul destination like New York, UAB will give you a free flight for a monthly spend of only Dh15,782 as compared to very high spends of other banks ranging from

    Top of the chartsUABs salary transfer reward is among the most attractive because its truly instant and very simple. Transfer your salary to UAB and you can instantly win a free flight. The rewards flights are very achievable.

    UAB Rewards is the only loyalty programme that offers free flights on over 900 airlines, which include budget or regular airlines and no blackout dates, offering greater flexibility and selection to choose for your flight home or a holiday.

    Dh24,590 to Dh 38,261. There are many other popular desti-nations like London, Paris and Singapore, which require com-paratively very low spends on UAB credit cards at Dh8,560, Dh8,594 and Dh7,760, respec-tively. Its clear that no other loyalty programme can beat UABs low credit card spends.

    MORE CHOICES THAN ANyONE ELSE

    UAB Rewards is the only loy-alty programme that offers free flights on over 900 airlines, which include budget or regular airlines and no blackout dates, offering greater flexibility and selection to choose for your flight home or a holiday. With 200,000 partner hotels and 150 world-wide destinations for car rentals, theres no stopping your fantasy holiday plans. Keeping pace with travel rewards and offering some-thing for everyone, UAB also pro-vides in-country benefits with over 1,000 electronic and life-style products, including top brands like Apple, Sony, Sam-sung and Toshiba from the UAB online store. For FC Barcelona fans, UAB Rewards has great news in the form of official Barca merchandise that can be ob-tained by redemption of Barca Reward points accumulated on Barca debit and credit cards.

    THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

    The UAB Rewards philosophy focuses on the proposition that instant gratification is an unalter-able fact of modern life. UAB be-lieves in giving you your moneys worth. With amazing rewards, it looks like everyone else will be scurrying to keep up.

  • V I khaleej times / ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENTSUNDAy, AUGUST 31, 2014 LoyaLty Cards, rewards + Cash BaCk Cards

    010203040506

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If growing online shopping statis- tics from the past few years have been any indication, buyers will again be flocking to online retailers this holiday season — perhaps in larger numbers than ever before. However, as people become in- creasingly savvier as Web shoppers, awareness and concerns about on- line privacy and safety have also grown. As many as 91 per cent of consumers say that they’re con- cerned about privacy when shop- ping online. Frequent news stories about consumer information being sold or mishandled have helped contribute to an atmosphere of mis- trust, and more than half of consum- ers say they don’t trust businesses with their personal information. For those who love the conve- nience and choice that come along with online shopping, there are a few ways to ensure that your infor- mation is kept safe and private: Read privacy policies. You’ve 1. probably seen them countless times, but how often have you actually read a privacy policy? If you’ve shopped without read- ing, you’re certainly not alone. While 97 per cent of websites have a privacy policy, those doc- uments average nearly 2,500 words. It would take the average person at least 10 minutes to read that, and not too many on- line shoppers want to spend that much time. However, reading the privacy policy will give you the details about what a site is doing to keep your information safe. Adjust your privacy settings. 2. With a bit of tweaking, you can adjust your cookies and make your computer more protected and cut down on inadvertent data leakage. However, be pre- pared to spend some time doing this, and remember that each browser is different. If you use multiple browsers on multiple computers, you’ll need to con- figure them all to your prefer- ences. If making those changes is beyond the scope of your tech- nological knowledge, you can try asking for help from a savvy friend or family member, or an electronics store employee might be able to help. Look for privacy verification 3. seals. Perhaps the easiest, quick- est way to ensure that an online retailer is trustworthy is to look for seals and logos certifying a website’s privacy practices, such as the green TRUSTe Certified Privacy Seal. It’s an easy at-a- glance way to get an idea of how dedicated a retailer is to protect- ing its customers, but keep in mind that if you want to learn more, you can click on the seal to get more detailed information about the sites privacy practices. There are also browser add-ons that can help you find e-com- merce sites that carry the seals, and an online directory of par- ticipating websites that you can browse. You can shop with more confi- dence if you know that your per- sonal information is safe. As retail- ers learn that consumers demand more privacy measures, they will respond to it by making their poli- cies more easily available. — BPT Sadiq Shaban W HETHER it is about retain- ing existing customers or attracting new ones, businesses have a new mantra: Reward and loyalty cards. Besides providing a realistic reason for continuing to associate with a business or brand, these cards help accumulate points, usually towards a reward, future redemp- tion or higher levels of service. Moreover, it helps brands gather useful information about the cli- entele, paving way for a more ef- ficient and effective service. Businesses are increasingly re- sponding to customers’ requests for greater control and flexibility as the trend of reward cards go up. No wonder loyalty cards re- ward cardholders, who often pay with plastic at different types of merchants including specific re- tailers and online purchases. As it showcases a push toward greater flexibility, these programmes al- low cardholders the option to choose between rewards in the form of cash or points. Most brand loyalty cards come with zero annual fees, besides provid- ing a number of benefits when used to make any purchase. Dubbed as a point card, advan- tage card, reward card or club card, loyalty cards are visually similar to a credit card or debit card that identify the cardholder as a mem- ber in a loyalty programme. Often issued by a retail establishment to a consumer who can then use it as a form of identification when deal- ing with that retailer, loyalty cards entitle a holder to a discount on the current purchase, or an allot- ment of points that can be used for future purchases. As it promotes customer touch points and understands the value of being agile and flexible, cash- back rewards and loyalty pro- grammes have gained immense popularity. Market watchers and analysts note that customers are first and foremost looking for the most beneficial cards and pro- grammes to utilise in their daily lives. While people want value- added benefits and perks, they usually dislike the limitations that credit cards typically come with. United Arab Bank (UAB), one of the fastest growing banks in the Middle East, recently emerged as the winner of the ‘Best Customer Loyalty Programme’ for the sec- ond year consecutively in the prestigious Banker Middle East UAE Product Awards 2014. UAB, with its Rewards Programme, is the only bank to win this presti- gious accolade two years in a row, and impressively, in less than two years since its introduction. The programme, which is linked to a range of UAB products, has rap- idly evolved, expanding from pre- viously offering a handful of air- line redemption options to over now more than 900 airlines, 200,000 hotels worldwide, 150 global rent a car destinations, over 2,000 electronic and life- style items, and official FC Barce- lona merchandise. Reward and loyalty cards help build a relationship between a business and the customer. It is a two-way traffic in terms of im- proved behavioural loyalty from the customer and increased bot- tom-line profits for the brand. In fact, various studies carried out on consumer behaviour conclude that customers are more likely to be loyal if they have a sense of asso- ciation with a brand. This associa- tion creates advocates for business as well. A personal recommenda- tion is often considered more con- vincing than business promotion. A programme that entwines loy- alty and a sense of affiliation is a winner all the way. [email protected] REWARDS AND LOYALTY CARDS OFFER GREAT FLEXIBILITY FOR CONSUMERS Businesses are increasingly responding to customers’ requests for greater control and flexibility as the trend of reward cards go up. No wonder loyalty cards reward cardholders, who often pay with plastic at different types of merchants including specific retailers and online purchases. BUILDING BONDS KHALEEJ TIMES / ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT SUNDAY, AUGUST 31, 2014 ENABLING LOYALTY ON PAYMENT CARDS through our terminals at retails across the UAE RFM owns and operates a network of credit card terminals (POS terminals) at retails across UAE processing AED 5 billion payment card transactions in 2013 through NBAD Bank. Issuer banks can enable loyalty through our terminals by using our loyalty host XLS from Welcome Realtime (www.welcome-rt.com), France. T +971 4 451 0012 www.rfmloyaltyco.ae [email protected] There’s no need to shy away from purchases off the net if you are well- protected Safe online shopping Click with confidence: Three tips to protect your privacy when shopping online.
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