Loyalty Newswire
December 4, 2023

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on December 4, 2023

This Week's News

The weekly Loyalty Newswire from The Wise Marketer delivers a curated list of the latest news and announcements from around the globe on all topics related to customer loyalty. We share news on a spectrum of topics, all with the intention of giving you an “info boost” to start your week.

The Loyalty Newswire makes it simple for busy professionals (that means YOU) to quickly digest important industry news and to *maybe even* enable you to star in your next big meeting.

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Stay. Loyal. Always.

Commonwealth Bank (Aus) announces expansion of CommBank Yello

Commonwealth Bank today announced the expansion of CommBank Yello – the CBA’s new customer recognition program – to more than 8 million of its customers, making it one of Australia’s largest customer recognition programs. The CommBank Yello program provides eligible customers a range of cashbacks, discounts, and prize draws, as well as unique experiences via a new CommBank Yello hub available in the latest version of the CommBank app.

The Commonwealth Bank is Australia's largest retail bank and offers customers a range of products and services, including loans, credit cards, transaction, and savings accounts. It has the largest branch and ATM network.

IHG Ambassador members anxiously awaiting Royal Ambassador qualifications

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has over 6,000 hotels in more than 100 countries and operates three loyalty and guest recognition programs. IHG One Rewards is the “core” program which is available for any guest to join, while the InterContinental Ambassador program represents a paid tier, where members who pay either USD 200 or redeem 40,000 points can avail themselves of special benefits over 12 months of membership.

IHG also operates two by-invitation programs, Kimpton Inner Circle, available to IHG Diamond Elite members who show loyalty to the Kimpton brand and IHG InterContinental Royal Ambassador. Royal Ambassador is an invite-only status that IHG offers to a small percentage of Ambassador members. The selection criteria aren’t publicly available and are typically announced just before calendar year end. Showing nearly blind loyalty to the IHG brand throughout the year and having to wait in suspense to see if you qualify for this exclusive level is an interesting tactic that comes with the risk of disappointing some high value members.  It clearly works for IHG, but would you consider adding this feature into your frequent guest program?

Alaska Air announces acquisition of Hawaiian Airlines, adding loyalty benefits for all customers

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK), and Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA) announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Alaska Airlines will acquire Hawaiian Airlines for $18.00 per share in cash, for a transaction value of approximately $1.9 billion. The press release from Alaska Air said that “as airlines rooted in the 49th and 50th U.S. states, which are uniquely reliant upon air travel, Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines share a deep commitment to caring for their employees, guests and communities.”

Hawaiian Airlines noted in its press release that the transaction will bring increased loyalty program benefits, saying “the transaction will connect Hawaiian Airlines’ loyalty members with enhanced benefits through an industry-leading loyalty program for the combined airline, including the ability to earn and redeem miles on 29 global partners and receive elite benefits on the full complement of oneworld Alliance airlines, expanded global lounge access and benefits of the combined program’s co-brand credit card.”

Circa faces class-action lawsuit over loyalty program

A class-action lawsuit filed against Circa Hospitality Group and subsidiaries accuses the downtown Las Vegas resort operator of failing to disclose fees and taxes required on comps offered through its loyalty program. Several members of Circa’s Club One loyalty program claim in the lawsuit filed in Clark County District Court that they were assessed fictitious fees or taxes whenever they attempted to use complimentary points to purchase food and other offerings at three affiliated hotels — Circa, Golden Gate and D. The lawsuit states the class action could involve more than 10,000 people, including those who visited the resorts and signed up for the Club One program.

Important Mobile banking stats for 2024

The smartphone is effectively the “bank branch” for many people. According to this article, the first mobile banking app was introduced by the Bank of Scotland in 2007. We know what’s happened since, with consumer hesitancy, fear and mistrust transforming into enthusiastic reliance on the smartphone as a first point of contact to manage daily finances.

This list of key mobile banking stats shares that over 26 million banking apps were downloaded in 2022 and that 60% of people will use a mobile banking app instead of a website. One surprise in the list is that 95% of banking app users believe their bank will keep their data safe, higher than we may have guessed. You can read the entire list here along with explanations and sources for each figure.

NomuPay (Ireland) acquires Total Processing (UK)

NomuPay has acquired Manchester-based merchant services and payment processing solution provider, Total Processing. The deal comes follows NomuPay’s $53.6m Series A funding round in May. NomuPay’s Unified Payments (uP) Platform provides scalable payment solutions and robust data management capabilities that are gateway agnostic. NomuPay is building its footprint in Southeast Asia, Europe and Turkey. Total Processing offers intuitive merchant services, including recurring-based payment collections and an innovative merchant-facing portal.

In the press release, NomuPay CEO, Peter Burridge commented that it was the organisation’s unwavering dedication to customer service that ultimately captured his attention, saying “What impressed me the most was the team’s mission and drive to become the most customer focused payments business. It’s apparent at every stage of the value chain.”

Local Community Loyalty is Alive: Durango, Co. Business Improvement District returns holiday rewards program

The Durango Colorado (US) Business Improvement District (BID) has brought back its popular holiday rewards program for all Durango Chamber of Commerce member businesses and their customers. The incentive program is geared toward making holiday shoppers think about buying locally during the holiday season. The holiday rewards program has become a downtown staple during the holiday season and BID has amped up the incentives this year, including a variety of different options including a scavenger hunt that led shoppers to visit multiple downtown businesses.

Quick news from around the world

  • Paytronix: Consumers spent 7.3% more on restaurant Gift Cards over Thanksgiving than in 2022
  • Circle K Inner Circle Rewards announces strong results as membership pass 8 million members
  • ISeatz CEO Kenneth Purcell writes about “What Makes for a ‘Sticky’ Credit Card Rewards Program”
  • Park City Winter Commuter Rewards Program rewards people with cash rewards for utilizing sustainable forms of transportation
  • New program rewards conservation-minded farmers (Canada)
  • UPI (India) transactions exceed 11 billion for the second time

Career Opportunities and Jobs in Loyalty Marketing

We’ve gathered some interesting career opportunities across the Loyalty Marketing industry. We share here a partial list of all that is on our desk and there are excellent brands represented. To learn more and express your interest, please click through the individual links below.

We also have a curated concise list of executive level resources and other professionals who are available to support your team. If you are interested in connecting with anyone on the list, please email Bill Hanifin. All inquiries are managed in a confidential manner.

Stay. Loyal. Always.