Your program has gone live - it’s time to party, right? Well, almost. Encouraging customers to connect their payment cards to your program is the crucial, next step of the process now you’re up and running. Familiarity and confidence will vary, for some, card-linking could be an alien concept altogether.
The aim of this article is to provide you with some strategies, information and signposting you can offer to customers that can directly improve those adoption rates, and get cards signed up to your newly-launched program.
Riding the Adoption Curve 🌊
It probably won’t be too difficult to onboard some customers through a general marketing push. However, what can be done to nurture a critical mass of early adopters? This surge of new users will allow the penetration of the card-linked program to become self-sustaining. The early surge in adoption becomes the springboard to progress along the adoption curve and earn new, future users, too.
Today, data privacy is at the forefront of people’s minds. Misconceptions and a lack of transparency on subjects like connecting personal payments cards can make people reluctant. The reality of what’s technically happening is much more benign, but they might not initially know that.
Class is in session 🎓: Common Answers to Common Questions
“Education is the movement from darkness to light” - Allan Bloom, philosopher, classicist, and academician.
Building out content for your customers to encourage program adoption is about understanding your audience, what resonates with them and what doubts they might harbour.
Below, we’ve built out a few key details that you can apply in your own customer-support materials to answer some of the typical new questions you will receive as a card program goes live.
Q | Why are you launching this program and why should I link my card
- Your reasons for developing/moving to a card-linked program:
- Your focus on customer centricity
- Limitations or issues with a previous program
- Wanting to provide a more seamless and tailored experience for customers
- The benefits to your customers:
- Frictionless and instant redemption
- Receive more bespoke offers and promotions
- No loose loyalty cards or software installations
Q | What specific data is actually involved?
- The data we connect you to:
- Only transactional data at your store(s) and/or website(s)
- Only the transactional data after customers have given their consent to link their cards
- What data will you not have access to:
- Every transaction from their linked payment cards
- Historical transactional data prior to the date of consent
- Additional data from their bank accounts
Q | How does the card-linked program work?
- How you will be handling customer payment data, via our APIs or SDKs:
- Fidel API provides a secure, PCI compliant environment to reliably and safely collect payment card details.
- Only the 16 digit PAN (i.e long card number) and expiry date are captured.
- The PAN is instantly tokenized (i.e. given a unique ID), meaning card numbers are never stored on your servers and the sensitive data is never exposed.
- All transactions relating to a particular linked payment card will be associated with the tokenized ID, not the PAN.
- You provide customers with an easy way to unlink their cards at any time should they have a change of heart, at which point you will cease to have visibility of their transactional data.
Risk or Reward ⚖️
“Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome” - Charlie Munger, VC, Berkshire Hathaway
Armed with the above information, your customers will be able to interact with your program with confidence and clarity, understanding what data is being handled and the robust infrastructure protecting it. Offering education is one thing, and some of those customers will happily enrol their cards at this point. However, there may be others that remain on the fence.
- As an additional option, you can consider offering incentives to customers for linking their cards. Getting sufficient content for the program is important. However, that content will be overlooked without a strong, early adoption rate.
- Try and offer tailored incentives that best fit your program type and strategy. For example, the reward can be a set amount of loyalty points or £x discount off purchases or extra % cashback for a limited period. The reward can be a one-time thing or for each card linked; there are many options you can play with.
- Structure your incentives to work for your program. For example, redemptions are only confirmed after the first transaction is made with the linked cards. You’ve a better chance of earning repeat transactions as customers are encouraged to go through the full journey and quickly experience first-hand the frictionless & seamless experience as well as the instant gratification.
- Additionally, you can consider injecting an element of gamification to further spice up engagement. By giving customers the opportunity to earn bonus rewards by completing ‘challenges’ within a set time period (e.g. earn an extra £x cashback by making x purchases worth £x or more at any retailer before the end of the month.)
- It might sound obvious, but consider rewarding customers for inviting friends and family to your program. You can build critical layers into the redemption process, e.g. customers will receive £x when their referral joins and an extra £y if they make their first purchase within Z days.
🏡“Location, Location, Location” - Harold Samuel
Our final recommendation is to think about how your card-linked offers are displayed on your website and/or app.
Prioritise your offers, and make them a constant presence for users. Consider displaying your card-linked offers front and centre at the top of the website or app, or point to them throughout your site. This is especially true if you’re both card-linked and non-card-linked offers; try and distinguish the two clearly.
As an additional visual prompt, card-linked offers can be shown as ‘locked’ from redemption until a card is linked (below). This helps reinforce the message that linking a card unlocks greater benefits, whilst driving an air of exclusivity and eliciting a degree of ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) response - make your customers want that additional value!
Client A launched their program with card-linked offers displayed prominently at the top of their website and app. In the first 6 months post-launch, on average they saw roughly 200% month on month increase in cards linked.
The Big Takeaways
- Customers may be reluctant to the idea of linking their payment cards due to an unfounded fear of opening Pandora’s box to constant surveillance of their entire financial activities. It’s important to address their worries by sharing the WHYs, WHATs and HOWs of your program.
- Having enough content is a big determinant of the attractiveness of your program, but try not to be consumed by that alone. Offer customers periodic challenges to earn extra rewards to maintain their engagement and motivation.
- Be mindful of how your card-linked offers are displayed on your website and app - ideally prominently at the top of the page. This helps as a subconscious reinforcement for those who would have otherwise remained on the fence.