How Western Union navigated the decision to switch providers
Switching loyalty providers is a daunting journey for any brand and the time and effort required can easily invite project deferral or outright procrastination. The unwanted result is that decision makers tend to live with outdated platforms longer than necessary.
A difficult integration can impact the customer experience and cost companies customers if the transition is complicated, data is lost, or other problems ensue. The worst case is that trust between the customer and brand can be broken.
Internally, companies can face a variety of obstacles during large-scale implementations such as interdepartmental conflicts with competing priorities or not having the expertise to use customer data advantageously and effectively. But with legacy applications often poorly understood or not fully documented, many companies realize it may be time to take the leap, especially if they want to stay on top of trends and keep customers engaged. No doubt that it is a difficult and risky decision to make.
Financial services giant, Western Union, recently switched its loyalty platform to a new provider. However, the search to change platforms for its MyWU program to a more modernized engine that could take care of all its concerns was an enormous task. The process needed to be quick and seamless, but the revamp and upgrade for the framework along with time and budget on the backend also needed to be kept top of mind.
Enter Loyalty Methods, a provider of large-scale CX solutions. Loyalty Methods offers a real-time, cloud-based, multi-channel, scalable loyalty engagement platform appropriately titled, ReactorCX (RCX).
“The platform enables marketers to be more agile, more customer-driven and more innovative in delivering fast and frictionless, end-consumer experiences for our client’s customers,” says Andy Floresca, Loyalty Methods’ Director of Marketing.
Hardly any downtime. Zero data loss.
“We needed a more robust platform that would enable us to get a view of our customers end-to-end,” says Lucy Donaldson, Western Union’s Head of Financial Ecosystems, Crypto, Loyalty & MarTech/AdTech. “We needed it to be quick and easy to fit into our ongoing work to modernize and improve our customer experience.”
Loyalty Methods promised Western Union just that with RCX.
“The project was done without any system outage or impact to their customers during the rollout,” says Floresca. “A critical benefit we have against competitors is RCX’s real-time flexibility and scalability.”
By way of the Threadsync delivery method, Loyalty Methods’ RCX was able to deliver all the required and necessary historical and current transactional data, which is moved in real-time safely without any errors or data loss.
“The microservices-based architecture is auto-scalable and can match fluctuations in transaction processing volumes,” he says.
For companies like Western Union, keeping long-term growth in mind, or for those that offer short-term promotions, special offers or sales that will see a large flux in traffic, RCX quickly scales to meet demand seamlessly, keeping data intact with little to no downtime.
Flexibility. Customization. Personalization.
The capability for the platform to evolve as Western Union expanded and extended the MyWU program and the future strategy propositions across the Western Union ecosystem was imperative when considering a switch in loyalty providers.
“We needed a platform that could be flexible and adapt easily to a changing program structure and ensure that we could easily and seamlessly add elements to any program without a lot of technical debt and overhead,” says Harveer Singh, Chief Data Architect and Head of Engineering at Western Union.
Loyalty Methods’ RCX engine separates itself from traditional platforms with its inherent real-time processing power along with the flexibility to customize and personalize.
“Loyalty Methods’ RCX offers users the ability to configure point rules, tiers and currencies, as well as eligibility criteria to create well-defined promotions and loyalty discounts,” says Floresca.
“We [also] needed a vendor with the flexibility to meet our global integration requirements and our aggressive support level agreements (SLA’s),” says Singh. RCX delivers just that.
A program in one country with the flexibility to be offered across a set of countries was concerning for Western Union. The flexibility with Loyalty Methods’ RCX in configuring program rules for the different regulatory requirements for the 33 countries around the world was extremely crucial.
“We have that flexibility in configuring program rules for the different regulatory requirements around the globe,” says Floresca.
With Loyalty Methods’ impressive client base, including one of their largest customers, 7Eleven, Western Union was impressed with the maintenance and consistency of real-time experiences RCX provides to the convenience-store chain.
“The SLAs we maintain and the consistent real-time experience we offer to our largest customer, 7Eleven, has always met or exceeded their requirements,” says Floresca, which was a winning factor with Western Union. The loyalty RCX solution gets the job done with real-time experiences with a variety of data capabilities and personalization’s offering opportunities to maximize services to the MyWU end consumer.”
The core solutions with Loyalty Methods’ Reactor CX platform include the innovative real-time loyalty engine, robust rewards and offers, preferences, personalization, a member-care portal, and a comprehensive set of analytics.
Overall, taking the leap to switch platforms resulted in a great partnership between Loyalty Methods and Western Union that helps end-to-end.
“We not only have more customer visibility now, but a new strategy that will help expose the value that RCX provides and the way it was intended,” says Donaldson. “Partnering with Loyalty Methods to upgrade MyWU is a key milestone in our strategy to learn more about what our customers expect from our loyalty program and ensure we are meeting those expectations. It allows Western Union to offer more and better added-value experiences and build better and deeper customer relationships.”