Loyalty Lab and HSBC are partnering to
expand capabilities for card-based loyalty programs.
CRM software maker Loyalty Lab and credit
card company HSBC Card Services are partnering to offer the capabilities of
Loyalty Lab's rewards engine to HSBC clients. The companies announced the
alliance April 7.
"We have been working together to offer direct customer interaction for
the typical point-based or rebate-based loyalty product," said Michael
Greenberg, president of Loyalty Lab.
Greenberg said Loyalty Lab provides technical capabilities such as a rewards
platform, point accrual, issuing rebates and promotional offers, e-mail
messaging, and data extraction and analysis.
"The key element is that we have built our product to be line
item-oriented, down to the individual SKU," he said. "Most of the
credit card world thinks at the transaction level. We support purchases and
returns at the line item level."
As a result, Greenberg said, Loyalty Lab can help retailers understand what consumers
purchase with private-label or co-branded credit cards. He said the company has
built a set of applications that allow rules-based promotions that can be set
to accelerate earnings at certain times, such as by offering double loyalty
points on certain days of the week.
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Because Loyalty Lab bases its technology on an SAAS (software as a service)
architecture, Greenberg said HSBC's clients will have the flexibility to adapt
loyalty programs without rebuilding any applications.
"Business rules are provided through configurations or client-facing
applications," he said. "Marketers have more direct control over the
rules and messaging built around loyalty programs. A lot of what we do is about
data integration and normalization."
By expanding the marketing features of their private-label and co-branded
credit cards, Greenberg said retailers can go beyond the limits of the
traditional points-based loyalty program.
"You can turn it into an engagement program with customer messaging and
interacting," he said. "You can create relevant communications that
take you on the pathway beyond loyalty to true CRM
[customer relationship management]."
Scott Loftesness, an analyst with payments research firm Glenbrook Partners,
said as one of the three major players in the U.S. private-label credit card
market-along with General Electric's GE Money and Citigroup's Citibank-it's
logical for HSBC to want to add loyalty capabilities to its offering. He said
the alliance should also provide a competitive advantage to Loyalty Lab.
"There is a tendency in the mind-set of a retailer who has done a
private-label credit card deal to look to their partner to handle other aspects
of the program," Loftesness said. "This would give Loyalty Lab a leg
up in that situation."
Dan Berthiaume covers the retail space for eWEEK. For more industry news,
check out eWEEK.com's Retail Site.