Visa allows merchants to manage rewards at account level
Visa USA has announced an upgrade to its processing systems to provide individual cardholders with the ability to manage their loyalty rewards, and is also introducing some enhancements at the individual account level.
The new upgrade represents a fundamental shift in how Visa manages benefits and opens up the possibility for issuers and merchants to deliver individually tailored offers to their customers. This is an improvement over current capabilities, which require management of benefits at an aggregated level based on clusters of cards within the same account group. It will also alleviate the need to change a cardholder's account number simply because the product has changed.
According to Elizabeth Buse, executive vice president, Product Development and Management, Visa USA: "Cardholders tell us they value payment cards that provide them with rewards, and merchants tell us they want opportunities to most effectively target cardholders who would appreciate their offers. With the ability to manage rewards and services at the individual account level, we have given the payment industry a highly advanced tool for meeting customer demands. We are increasing the ability for issuers to deliver rich and personalised rewards, and at the same time, increasing customer loyalty for merchants."
Better targeted The system upgrade will help merchants to tailor discounts and promotions to the most interested cardholders. Instead of grouping cardholders by pre-selected reward categories, merchants and card issuers can, in future, offer dining promotions to cardholders who are avid restaurant-goers, discounts to consumers who prefer boutique shopping, or special offers to frequent travellers.
Because offers can be better targeted toward cardholders who are most likely to take advantage of them, the upgrades will save card issuers and merchants on marketing costs while making rewards programmes more attractive to cardholders.
By October 1st, 2005, Visa anticipates that more than 50 million Visa accounts in the United States will be eligible for tailored rewards.