Are Rewards Programs a Requirement?

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INOVA-launch-02By Tylee Suarez

Rewards programs are not a new thing. Everyone loves to be rewarded for their business. According to the 2015 Colloquy Customer Loyalty Census, the average American household maintains memberships in 29 loyalty programs (1). Banking customers are no different. 88 percent of consumers deem rewards availability to be a top priority when choosing a financial institution (2).

Statistics are especially compelling for those trying to attract and maintain the millennial segment. As a group, millennials switch from their primary bank at a pace nearly double the average of other age groups, and they point to high fees and poor loyalty programs as the top reasons why they are dissatisfied with their banks (3).

Mindful of both consumer dissatisfaction and interest in rewards, more banks than ever before are offering rewards. But offering a rewards program alone will not make a bank unique or successful. The right program builds a partnership and offers rewards that excite customers, encourage redemption and perhaps most importantly, generates revenue.

Community banks should evaluate solutions that align with their service-oriented traditions and bring value to customers throughout their communities. They should also consider the connection to and impact on their brand. A program that celebrates local shopping will encourage customers to spend more at local businesses. As they start to see incremental business from a banks’ customers, that bank will be top-of-mind for business owners when they need their next business loan!

All successful rewards programs require marketing support. The most successful programs employ entire marketing teams to strategize and execute. If unable to support in-house marketing teams, community banks should look for a program that offers branded marketing support. To encourage engagement and customer satisfaction, promote your program and encourage customers to redeem their points for rewards.

Buzz Points is a community-focused rewards and marketing platform that satisfies all of these requirements. With Buzz Points, customers earn points every time they swipe their card, and they earn double points when they patronize a local business. Points can be redeemed for gift certificates to local or national businesses, for travel or cash gift cards or even donations to local charities. Local businesses that sign up as “Preferred Local Businesses” not only serve as redemption centers, they also receive access to a special marketing program that enables customized promotions to be offered to Forrester Cost Benefits Graph-01all Buzz Points users. This “bank, buy, redeem local™” approach is a winning solution for all involved.

Buzz Points recently commissioned a Total Economic Impact™ study by Forrester Consulting to determine the financial impact of the Buzz Points platform for community financial institutions. The results showed that in achieving 139% ROI over 3 years, Buzz Points helps community financial institutions with:

  • Increasing non-interest income by $372,726
  • Incentivizing incremental loan income by $35,611
  • Attracting new customers, resulting in an incremental revenue of $386,457

The full study can be read here. For more information about Buzz Points, visit


1 – U.S. Customer Loyalty Program Memberships Top 3 Billion For First Time, 2015 COLLOQUY Census Shows. (2015, February 9). Retrieved April 19, 2016, from

2 – Chaudhuri, S. (2014, August 8). Consumers Say More Rewards Is Their Top Demand from Banks. Retrieved April 19, 2016, from­cles/consumers-say-more-rewards-is-their-top-demand-from-banks-1407522160

3 – Banking Shaped by the Customer, 2015 North America Consumer Digital Banking Survey, Retrieved July 27, 2016, from

Tylee Suarez is the Director of Marketing at Buzz Points.