Imagine Foundation | Is your loyalty really measuring up?
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Is your loyalty really measuring up?

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We’ve become accustomed to the expectation of being rewarded for our loyalty – whether that’s with an airline or our favorite retailer. But is really measuring up?

In order to extend the perceived value of a loyalty program, especially in the air mile space, earning points on your credit card transactions has become the industry standard. But, how many of us have given much thought to what the implications of that set up actually are – and who’s ‘paying the freight’ at the end of the day?

Since the end of last year, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the ACCC have been giving some serious thought to this question, with the result being a review of the interbank fees that are charged each time a transaction goes through the real or virtual tills of a merchant.

On 26th May the RBA issued a notice that new interchange standards will shortly be introduced, effective 1 September 2016 for large merchants and 1 September 2017 for small and medium sized merchants. These new standards regulate the surcharging on credit cards in order to relieve the financial burdens imposed on merchants and also protect consumers from excessive surcharging on the goods they purchase.

The main result of these new regulations, according to the RBA, is that it may adversely affect loyalty reward programs for both consumers and corporations, who will likely see a reduction in the generosity of rewards, as well as the possibility of increased fees for the use of credit cards that include loyalty reward programs. We believe that ‘may’ is more like ‘will’!

So we’ve have been monitoring these changes closely. With our Points for Purpose platform, due to be released at the end of July 2016, the reward points are funded by our merchants who are backing the initiative – certainly not the financial institutions…. This means that our reward points (IF points) are completely insulated from these new regulations –  any points you earn as a thank you for supporting your favourite brand, will continue to benefit you in bonuses, or the charity of your choice to support their vital causes with much needed funds. The times they are indeed a-changing!

If you’d like to find out how more about Points for Purpose and how you can help retailers and organisations support the worthy causes closest to your heart, contact us today to get on board.