How are major players in payments working to reinvent loyalty and rewards programs? PYMNTS.com spoke with Nandan Mer, group executive, global loyalty solutions at MasterCard, about MasterCard’s approach to loyalty, the company’s new partnership with Truaxis and more.
Nandan Mer, Group Executive, Loyalty Solutions for MasterCard Worldwide, says the answer is yes, but its evolution is already underway.
PYMNTs.com spoke with Mer about MasterCard’s approach to loyalty, his company’s recent partnership with Truaxis and how merchants, consumers and issuers alike can all benefit from loyalty’s evolution.
According to Mer, MasterCard is “obsessed” with three key factors as it improves loyalty within payments.
“Objective number one is to provide consumers with the best value every time they choose to spend their extremely hard-earned money. Our focus is to get that value to the consumer out at the point of sale,” Mer said. “We’re also obsessed with helping merchants enhance their business by finding new customers that are appropriate to their business model and to help deepen relationships with their existing customers.
And the third leg of what we do is around issuers, we’re helping issuers enhance the revenue, usually on the transaction that is flowing from the underlying transaction, as well as helping them provide better value to their consumers.”
To provide a real-life example of how loyalty programs can derive value to merchants and consumers alike, Mer spoke of a scenario in which a consumer gives permission for his or her spend data to be used, then uses a card when he or she goes out to eat.
Not only can such data be used to incentivize that customer to keep visiting his or her favorite restaurants, but it can be used in plenty of other inventive ways as well.
“By swiping your card at various restaurants, you are in effect telling us that you know, you prefer a kind of let’s say cuisine, for example, over other cuisines. And now, if you were traveling away from your city of residence on work to a city where you’re not familiar with the restaurants, for example, based on your location — based on you telling us through your swipe in that new city. Let’s say at a Starbucks, that you are now in the city, and it’s around lunchtime. Your issuer could present to you a set of restaurant recommendations in the neighborhood, through either a mobile app, or through an SMS alert … or through the email channel,” Mer said.
[They] could also make available to you either a points acceleration, or discounts at these restaurants, of course in addition to informing you about the cuisine in the restaurants.”
“That’s just one small example, of how the data that we have on you, your spend data, or your profile, can help provide you with greater value.”
To hear more Mer on MasterCard’s partnership with Truaxis, its philosophy towards loyalty programs and more, listen to the full podcast below.
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Group Executive, Loyalty Solutions for MasterCard Worldwide
Nandan Mer is group executive, Loyalty Solutions, for MasterCard Worldwide. In this role, he is responsible for developing and expanding the company’s suite of loyalty solutions, with a focus on enabling issuers to provide enhanced value to their consumers; and for merchants to attract and retain profitable consumers.
Issuers of debit, credit, prepaid and commercial cards, across the world, use MasterCard’s Loyalty Solutions to enhance their consumer value propositions by leveraging MasterCard’s vast suite of capabilities, including, issuer rewards, personalized merchant offers, travel services, card benefits, card insurance, emergency cash & card replacement services, all of which are supported by a global network of 24 hour call centers. Merchants partner with MasterCard through a vast range of specialized solutions, including participation in various product programs, travel services and personalized offer and rewards programs to attract and retain profitable consumers.
Mr. Mer plays a critical role in helping MasterCard’s financial institution and merchant partners enhance their business relationships with MasterCard around the globe. Prior to his recent appointment, Mr. Mer was group executive, Global Consumer Credit. Mr. Mer spent 22 years with Citigroup, American Express & United Bank for Africa leading consumer and institutional banking businesses in locations such as Africa, China, India, Middle East, Russia and UK.
Mr. Mer is based in London and holds a MBA from the University of Massachusetts.