Customers want greater choice from bank loyalty programmes

Only 57 per cent of Singaporeans who are members of financial services loyalty programmes feel they are being rewarded. This suggests that banks using such programmes to retain clients and lift revenue can do more to enhance rewards and recognition, says a new report.

The survey covered 2,500 consumers from December to January. In Singapore, 547 were polled. It also included the United States, Britain and the United Arab Emirates.

It noted that 77 per cent of respondents across the entire survey looked for programmes with a greater choice of rewards. Moreover, 82 per cent said the value of a programme dropped when only a limited range of rewards was available.

In Singapore, 60 per cent called for schemes that are easier to use, with customers seeking the ability to combine points with cash, and a larger selection of rewards.

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This indicates the usability and accessibility of rewards are a top concern for programme members.

Two of the strongest reward categories are travel and leisure, according to the survey, which was commissioned by consumer behaviour consultancy Collinson Group. Customers in Singapore consistently place a high value on benefits such as airport lounge access, concierge services, and unique social and cultural leisure experiences.

Customers in Singapore consistently place a high value on benefits such as airport lounge access, concierge services, and unique social and cultural leisure experiences.

Respondents here also expressed a desire for more redemption opportunities. Globally, 66 per cent said they specifically looked for a scheme with both in-store and online redemption capabilities.

Many schemes do not have such a feature, but 63 per cent of respondents in Singapore said they would like a chance to redeem in-store.

Collinson Group director Chris Rogers said financial services models continue to evolve, with a focus on improved digital options and experiences. But he added that brands must consider how they recognise and reward existing clients, noting that sectors such as travel and retail have been offering more personalised, timely and relevant rewards.

"A key element in enabling this is providing customers with more ways to earn and redeem loyalty currency," he said. "Offering the opportunity to 'spend' points on non-financial products such as travel, leisure or more altruistic rewards is becoming increasingly attractive to programme members.

"The chance to redeem points in physical stores such as retailers and to pay in part with loyalty points and cash makes programmes more relevant and therefore more valuable to consumers."

Lorna Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 11, 2017, with the headline 'Customers want greater choice from bank loyalty programmes'. Print Edition | Subscribe