In South Africa, the eBucks coalition loyalty programme has become the 'reward of choice' according to a survey by TNS Research Surveys, in which consumers were found to be more aware of First National Bank's eBucks programme than of any other bank's rewards programme.
The survey of 400 consumers (aged 25-55) in the three major metropolitan areas (Cape Town, Durban and Gauteng) found that 30% were aware of eBucks, while ABSA Rewards was the second most recognised banking rewards programme at 8%.
Financial loyalty league
In terms of on-the-spot awareness of bank-originated rewards programmes, Nedbank's Greenbacks programme stood at 4%, and Standard Bank was mentioned by 2% of respondents.
Figure 1: Spontaneous awareness of
financial services rewards programmes
When examining programme awareness among respondents that used each bank, 65% of those that use ABSA as their main bank were aware of eBucks, while only 48% were aware their own bank's loyalty programme.
Similarly, 38% of Nedbank users were aware of its Greenbacks programme, yet 64% were aware of eBucks. While two thirds (66%) of Standard Bank users were aware of eBucks, only 17% were aware of the Standard Bank Value Choices Awards programme.
First National Bank's (FNB) lead in programme awareness is most likely to be due to its strong coalition of retail and service partners, with the programme reaching most consumers through their everyday shopping habits. Other bank rewards programmes are less far-reaching, which may explain why their awareness levels are not as high as that of eBucks.
According to Lezanne Human, CEO for eBucks, "By providing our members with a great variety of spending opportunities, it is easy for members to experience the thrill of getting things for free. It also seems that they are telling other people about their good experiences with the programme."
Strong word-of-mouth has led to not only high awareness, but also high programme usage. In the survey, eBucks registered the highest usage level among financial services rewards programmes, with 35% of FNB customers being eBucks members while only 12% of ABSA users are ABSA Rewards members. Only 9% of Nedbank users reported belonging to the Greenbacks programme, and only 5% of Standard Bank users said they make use of the Value Choices programme (to which credit card customers are automatically subscribed).
Figure 2: Usage of financial
services rewards programmes
Interestingly, eBucks has recently announced that over R1 billion (approx. US$129,000) worth of eBucks had been allocated to members by the programme's partners since the programme's launch. Perhaps not surprisingly the largest share of those rewards were allocated by FNB to its customers.