Mexican bank loyalty succeeds on FMI platform
The Mexican banking loyalty rewards programme, Ixe Rewards, has announced very promising initial results, with more than half of Ixe Banco's 40,000 clients having enrolled in the programme after less than one year of operation.
Ixe Banco, the retail banking arm of the Mexico-based Ixe Grupo Financiero, recently launched its Ixe Rewards loyalty programme which rewards customers for their relationship across all of the bank's financial products. The programme is being operated using the Loyalty Solutions Platform from Frequency Marketing Inc. (FMI), via its Mexican channel partner, Grupo Posadas (which partnered with FMI in March 2003).
Membership Members enrol in Ixe Rewards by telephone, via the web, or in person at any Ixe branch. "We don't auto-enrol customers; they must request membership," said Josemaria Bolio, general manager for Ixe Rewards. "We found that the required sign-up gives the programme added value in the eyes of members."
Each Ixe Rewards member earns points based on the types of accounts held. Credit card holders earn one point for every 10 pesos (approx. US$0.91) spent, and debit card holders earn one point for every 20 pesos spent. Savings and cheque account holders earn one point for every 400 pesos maintained in their average daily balances.
Rewards The programme's rewards component ranges from easy-to-attain rewards (such as movie tickets and gift certificates for restaurant and department store purchases) to aspirational rewards that require more points (such as free hotel rooms, airline tickets, and holiday packages).
Personalised communications include monthly statements summarising account activity, e-mail newsletters, and information on special promotions. The Ixe Rewards web site provides members with loyalty programme information, account details, a full list of rewards and partner offers, reward redemptions, and additional telephone and e-mail contact information.
Tiered membership "We're planning tiered membership levels," added Bolio, although the bank plans to collect more data from the programme before doing so.
Meanwhile, Ixe is already carrying out basic loyalty analytics, making several basic targeted offers such as special offers for clients who make utility bill payments through the bank's automated bill paying service. Ixe also offers bonus points for shopping at specific stores, and plans to do much more segmentation and targeted promotion in the future.
Future development "We wanted to develop a true relationship banking programme that gave customers a reason to continue to support us," said Bolio. "Our loyalty programme currently rewards customers who hold credit and debit cards, as well as cheque and savings accounts." Additionally, during the next phase of the programme, the bank also plans to begin rewarding customers of its brokerage house products and trust funds.
FMI's loyalty marketing magazine, Colloquy, estimated Mexico's loyalty market size at some US$40 million in 2002, with a projected annual growth rate of 40% up to 2007.