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Paytronix hosts webinar on ‘bankable points’ loyalty programs


Screen shot: Paytronix webinar, “Why Brands like McDonalds and Starbucks Choose Bankable Points Programs"

Bankable points programs are growing in popularity and account for one-third of loyalty programs and that number is growing, according to research from Paytronix. With this in mind, Paytronix recently hosted a webinar describing “Why Brands like McDonalds and Starbucks Choose Bankable Points Programs.”

The webinar talked about how bankable points loyalty programs differ from other program styles, why these programs are on the rise, guidelines for a successful program and when it might be time to revamp your program.

They started by describing the five types of loyalty program:

  • automatic conversion: one-time reward
  • bankable points (guests get to choose their reward at a variety of levels)
  • qualified visits
  • surprise and delight
  • layered/other

The “Surprise and delight” type of loyalty program, though appealing, is less used because it requires more work on the part of staff, the webinar suggested.

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Bankable loyalty cards allow members accumulate points and redeem them for a variety of rewards. Your pizzeria could use menu items you’d like to promote, such as desserts, as rewards. Such a code can be used at a drive-thru.

Offer a core program give-back value of four to five per cent, design the program for “silver” members (not for your top rung of member) and use it to reward customers for good behaviour.

Paytronix recommended a give-back rate of four to eight per cent for restaurants. Anything below this, and customers may not see the value in using the program.

They advise keeping the program easy to sign up, easy to understand and to see how close you are to earning rewards.

Paytronix shared insights gained its recent from successful bankable rewards programs at McDonald’s and Starbucks.

McDonald’s reported it has 21 million members, 15 million of whom are considered active. They plan to increase the frequency of use and have a goal to “know” 40 per cent of their guests.

A level of 15 per cent penetration is enough to make a noticeable difference. A level of 25 per cent demonstrates excellent performance.

Starbucks led the way in bankable points when in 2019 they switched to accumulating 125 stars. Now they allow for as high as 400 stars redemption level. Twenty-five is the minimum needed for a reward, while 150 stars earns members a free beverage.

Starbucks will soon partner with other brands, such as Air Canada, to earn stars for purchases.

Revamping your loyalty program

Revamping your brand’s loyalty program can increase your profits but it is a big undertaking, the company expert advised.

The webinar noted several warning signs that let you know it may be time to switch:

  1. Declining loyalty: If your program is not motivating visits, it could be that new customers are not interested or team members aren’t promoting it. If you drop under 15% that’s a signal. However, introducing new enrolment methods may be enough without switching programs.
  2. Evidence of over-discounting might suggest the need for a change.
  3. Senior management is unhappy: you may need to make a change to show the goals and value of having the program.
  4. Conflicts with your corporate strategic objective: In one example, customers were taking advantage of getting a free coffee and enrolling fraudulently, missing the point of the offer.

There can be confusion when switching from one loyalty program or type of program to a bankable program. Communication is key and providing an extra reward to current members can go a long way in holding on to them.

The webinar concluded by sharing three principles of loyalty program design: offer a core program give-back value of four to five per cent, design the program for “silver” members (not for your top rung of member) and use it to reward customers for good behaviour.

You can learn more from the Paytronix Annual Loyalty Report.