Huge potential remains for debit card loyalty

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on May 14, 2008

Considering the proliferation and variety of loyalty and reward programmes in the financial services sector, it is surprising that debit card rewards programmes are still not very common, according to a survey report from marketing research firm Synergistics.

The research report, entitled 'Optimizing Debit Card Programmes', found that only three out of ten debit card holders said that they have some type of reward, discount, or rebate associated with their debit card.

Looking for the reward
In the survey, debit card holders were presented with an extensive list of various types of rewards and rebates and asked if their debit card offered any of them. Coupons/points for discounts and cash rebates were the top two types of reward mentioned, with each being cited by approximately one out of seven debit card holders.

One-tenth cited travel rewards such as frequent flyer miles, points that can be redeemed for gifts from a catalogue, free travel accident insurance when reservations are made using the card, and points or rewards that can be combined with those earned using a credit card.

Less than one-tenth mentioned any of the other types of rewards, including charitable contributions, contributions to savings plans, discounts on banking services, petrol/gas discounts, and long-distance telephone minutes. Overall, some three out of ten respondents said they have at least one of these types of rewards, discounts, or rebates associated with their debit card.

Genie M. Driskill, COO for Synergistics, concluded: "There is plenty of room for growth in the area of debit card reward programmes. Few consumers currently report having debit rewards and, when usage of various types of debit rewards are examined, no one type of reward stands out. The market is still wide open for a provider to step in and differentiate themselves from the crowd."

According to Driskill, debit card issuers should now aggressively promote the availability of their reward programmes and encourage widespread cardholder participation.

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