Disloyal Brits And Bitcoin-Friendly Germans

UK Shoppers Don’t See The Point In Loyalty Cards

What’s In: Loyalty cards offering UK shoppers more personalized offers and better value

What’s Out: Loyalty cards being used by retailers as a scam to collect consumer data

What Happened: Eight million UK customers are no longer worried about forgetting their Nectar Cards at home. According to a recent WorldPay report these customers said they are using their loyalty cards much less than they did a year ago.

One-in-three shoppers revealed they don’t believe the cards have any value, and 30 percent even said they frequently forget their loyalty cards at home before leaving for the store.

British retailers and grocers have been accused of pushing boundaries with customer privacy. Supermarkets primarily use loyalty programs to obtain valuable consumer data, which helps companies target customers with personalized offers and ultimately increase the likelihood of sales.

In exchange for shopping information, retailers provide shoppers with vouchers, promotions, rewards and more. Yet consumers in the UK are beginning to lose sight of the exchanged value.

In addition to UK consumers’ disdain for loyalty programs, the research also shows that many are not fond of paper receipts. 

Germany Okays Bitcoins For Private Trade

What’s In: Bitcoins being recognized as “Private Money” in German 

What’s Out: Germany’s Ministry of Finance having suspicions abut the virtual currency 

What Happened: The German Federal Ministry of Finance declared this week that bitcoin is not acknowledged as a complete currency. However, Germany is allowing the use of bitcoin for private transactions and with commercial retailers that seek permission from the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority.

The Ministry remained skeptical, stating that the virtual currency came with several disadvantages and did not carry the same government or central bank support that other virtual currencies hold. 

In a nutshell, Germany is neglecting to declare Bitcoin as a “real” currency, and instead classified it under Rechnungseinheiten als Finanzinstrument. Try saying that five times fast.

Study: 7 Million UK Adults Live Under A Rock

What’s In: UK consumers embracing digital technology.

What’s Out: UK consumers continuing to live in digital denial.

What Happened: For such a small region it seems a bit odd that 7.1 million adults say they’ve never been on the web.

According to a new study from the Office for National Statistics, 7.1 million adults in the UK have never used the Internet.

The report also notes that 33 percent of adults under age 75 in the UK have never gone online, and that nearly every citizen between the ages of 16 and 24 has used the web. Since 2011, the number of Internet users has jumped by 2.9 million.

We’re confused—isn’t the UK one of the leading countries in the world in eCommerce sales and online activity? Did the 7.1 million consumers include a sheep count?

Turkish Watchdog Bites Credit Card Companies

What’s In: The Turkish Prime Minister condemning the use of credit cards in the country

What’s Out:Turkish consumers continuing to rack up credit card debt they can’t afford to pay back 

What Happened: Turkish officials are enforcing new measures for credit cards to help mitigate consumer debt.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has strongly condemned the use of credit cards because of the country’s alarming debt problems. The Hurriyet Daily News reported that in June 2013, 46 percent of all non-performing consumer loan debt in Turkey were from credit card and personal debt. In the same month, it was reported that loan debt amounted to 680,000 Turkish liras, compared to the 822,000 liras accumulated from all of 2012. Banking watchdog of Turkey, BDDK, is taking action and announced new policies designed to limit credit card use and regain control.

The BDDK is enforcing credit card limitations for consumers. Customers with an income of 1,000 liras or less per month will be given stricter credit limits. Newer credit card issuance will be obliged with an increased minimum payment amount, jumping from 25 percent to 40 percent. Additionally, credit lenders will be asked to review consumer income levels on a regular basis.

New measures will request that customers pay back more debt per month. The new minimum for monthly credit card debt payments will increase to 30 percent for debts of 15,000 liras and over, and increase to 35 percent for consumer debts exceeding 20,000 liras (compared to the flat 25 percent currently required). 

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