Loyalty for financial services: how rewards keep customer retention rates high

Loyalty is a big deal in the financial services industry. 

But businesses across this sector (from banks, to insurance, to wealth management services) are all facing a similar challenge - customer retention.
 

The issue is, customers have higher expectations.
 

Firstly, customers expect to interact with businesses on digital platforms. These expectations have partly been driven by financial disruptors such as FinTechs and challenger banks, who operate a complete digital presence. As a result, financial services are increasingly reliant on digitisation.
 

But customers also expect a better experience - to get more in return for choosing one company over another. In fact, research by American Express found that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. 
 

Let’s look at how companies are keeping customer retention rates high through loyalty and rewards.

 

Why offer rewards in the finance sector? 

A customer's choice is an investment of their time, energy, and money. They want to feel like they're getting a good deal. But if you're not offering them anything extra in return for choosing you—if you're just the same as all your competitors—then why would they choose you?
 

The answer is simple: they wouldn't. In fact, they'd probably choose your competitor, who is offering something extra. Something that meets their rising expectations and gives them more value.
 

Customers want to be rewarded for doing business with you and for sticking with you through tough times. 
 

Rewards help companies keep customer retention rates high by offering customers extra perks when they spend money. But that’s not all. With rewards, you can incentivise any behaviour or action you would like to drive. 

How to drive any customer behaviour with event-based systems

 

Remember: If you don’t offer incentives, your customers are more likely to switch to competitors that do. 

 

Financial services loyalty program example: Wesleyan

 

Our Client
Wesleyan Assurance Society is a financial services mutual that provides advice and products to select professional groups – notably GPs, hospital doctors, dentists, teachers and lawyers.

 

Our Client’s Problem 

Engagement and retention are challenging in the financial sector. Wesleyan needed to better understand their customers so that they could effectively engage them. 
 

Wesleyan wanted to offer extra value with rewards & incentivize loyalty
 

White Label Loyalty’s Solution 

We created the Wesleyan Wallet cashback scheme which allows customers to earn cashback at selected retailers via card-linking and affiliate links, which can be spent on digital gift cards from popular retailers. The solution was embedded into our off-the-shelf loyalty mobile app, branded to Wesleyan.
 

Secondly, to make sure all customers are catered for, we created Wesleyan Rewards. We deployed an embedded microsite solution with an enhanced reward offering for high-value clients.
 

The Results

Our solutions for Wesleyan ensure customers get rewarded for their loyalty. In exchange for delivering rewards, Wesleyan is able to increase their overall customer retention - simply by giving customers an extra reason to choose them over any competitors. 

 

financial services industry loyalty program example: Wesleyan
Wesleyan Rewards: loyalty programs in the financial services industry.

 

Financial services loyalty program example: SKB Bank


Our Client

SKB Bank, part of the OTP Group, is one of Slovenia’s leading banks. The SKB BONUS Rewards Programme was created as part of the OTP StartUp Booster Programme, where expert colleagues, start-ups, innovative tech businesses, and educational institutions work together to develop banking products and services of the future.

 

Our Client’s Problem

SKB Bank wanted to influence desired behaviour, and increase satisfaction and engagement through gamifying digital experiences. They were also looking to increase card usage, Flik activation and transactions, incentivise word-of-mouth referrals and gather GDPR consent from clients.

 

White Label Loyalty’s Solution

We created a standalone rewards microsite, where customers could log in and unlock offers and rewards.

 

A gamified tiered rewards structure with challenges was used to maximise engagement, e.g. all new users had to finish a set of 3 tasks to move up from the Basic tier to the Bronze tier.

 

Once completed, this would unlock new rewards. White Label Loyalty’s event-based loyalty engine was utilised to configure this rewards logic.

 

The Results

Incentivising different behaviours through gamification meant achieving several objectives, such as delivering a high uptake in all three types of transactions (credit card, debit card and Flik instant payment) and increasing customer satisfaction, with 80% of the participants expressing delight with the challenges set in the program.

 

The Flik instant payment app saw a 17% increase in activations and a +188.2% growth in transactions. Non-transactional KPIs were also hit, with 3.5% of users referring SKB bank to a friend, which resulted in 1.48% new to bank clients.

 

SKB Bank: loyalty programs in the financial services industry.
SKB Bank: loyalty programs in the financial services industry.

 

Loyalty program example outside just financial services: Biscuit

 

Our Client

Using rewards and gamification, Biscuit promotes healthy choices for dogs via rewards programs for pet owners. As a reward for completing various activities tailored to dogs, the app encourages owners to prioritise their pet's health.

 

Our Client’s Problem

As a result of the pandemic, dog ownership soared and conflicting pet-care advice emerged. Biscuit is addressing this challenge.

 

In addition to creating a nation of healthier and happier pets, Biscuit strives to reduce pet ownership's associated costs and uncertainty.

 

To keep people motivated, Biscuit needed an easy way to engage its growing user base.

 

White Label Loyalty’s Solution

White Label Loyalty provided a flexible loyalty API to power Biscuit’s app. The API functions as a way to simply “turn on customer loyalty” and helps Biscuit save time and money on in-house development.

 

We provide Biscuit complete control over how their loyalty app works - including setting up how ‘biscuits’ are earned, rewarding users and enabling the gamification elements.

 

Biscuit: loyalty programs outside of the financial services industry.
Biscuit: loyalty programs outside of the financial services industry.

 

The Results

Since launching in March 2022, Biscuit has gained over 50,000 registered users in just 9 months. The app has received glowing reviews, with a 4.6-star rating on the app store and reaching #1 spot on the Apple and Google app stores in the Health & Fitness categories.

 

Users have walked a total of 950,000 miles so far, completing over 350,000 daily activity goals and over 60,000 weekly challenges. Biscuit’s success can be attributed to its ease of use, engaging gamified challenges, and wide range of reward options.

 

What does a successful loyalty program in the financial services sector look like?

Here at White Label Loyalty we know what makes a successful loyalty program in the financial services sector.
 

It’s all about meeting customer expectations. 
 

Here are some ways to do that:
 

  • Be digital first! Customers expect to interact with businesses on digital platforms - so if your loyalty program isn't mobile-friendly or doesn't offer an online interface, it's going to feel outdated and unprofessional compared to other companies offerings.
     
  • Offer personalised rewards that are truly valuable enough to incentivise customers to stick with your company. If they're not convinced that they'll get something worthwhile out of joining your loyalty program, then they're likely not going to bother signing up at all!
     
  • Keep the user interface easy to use, including straightforward reward redemption. Customers shouldn’t have to spend time figuring out how to get their rewards, so make sure you keep things as frictionless as possible. 

 

All of this can be achieved by choosing a loyalty platform that integrates seamlessly with your existing systems so that you don’t have to spend time or money setting up a new system. Then, you can focus on what really matters: your customers!

How to enage digital customers with interactive experiences

Loyalty is key to keep customers coming back.

A loyalty program is an essential part of keeping customers engaged in the financial services industry.
 

By offering customers more in return for choosing your business—whether it's loyalty points or exclusive discounts or free gifts—you can become the brand of choice by giving something that your competitors aren't able to offer yet.

 

Loyalty is a two-way street: your brand needs loyal customers, but loyal customers need something back from you too! If you're not looking out for the needs of your loyal customers, they might leave for another company that does. This could be a big loss for both parties—and that's why it's so important to keep up with customer expectations. 


Wondering how to start using rewards in your financial business? Get in touch with us today to start your loyalty journey. 

Share this Article

Helen Walker

Helen Walker

Senior Content Marketing Executive

Helen is our Senior Content Marketing Executive. She shares valuable information about the Future of Loyalty and will keep you up to date on the latest industry insights...

Post Tags

Loyalty Programs
Digital Loyalty
Customer Retention
Loyalty Rewards
Personalised Rewards
Rewards Programs