Greek Banking success in a troubled market
Despite challenging economic times for Greece and more specifically its Banks, Alpha Bank, one of the largest retail banks operating in the country, has a huge success on its hands that is directly benefiting Greek consumers.

Alpha Bank and its partners are rewarding the loyalty of customers with the ?Bonus’ credit card loyalty scheme. In under 4 years, by the end of 2010, it had achieved over 1 million redemptions and during the first quarter of 2011, it passed the 100% redemption milestone – a feat not achieved by any Bank led loyalty scheme anywhere in the world. This has enabled Alpha Bank's Cards Division to avoid the worst effects of the crisis, growing when others are declining and strengthening the relationship between the Bank and its retail customer base as well as its merchants business.

The scheme has been designed for the Greek market by British company Loyalty Consulting UK. Bonus allows customers to collect points anywhere in the world for every Euro they spend and then redeem those points instantly and on demand for products, services or discounts from well known retailers and service providers around Greece.

Alpha Bank has joined with leading brands in Greece such as BP, Aegean Airlines (a Star Alliance partner airline), Hertz and Alpha Beta supermarket (the second largest food retailer in Greece, part of the Del Haize Group). Shoppers can redeem their reward points for food, petrol, flights and many other exciting opportunities – giving something for everyone. This innovative scheme operates in real-time at the point of sale, avoiding the usual barriers associated with earning and redeeming in similar multi-partner schemes.

Leo Kassoumis, Manager of Alpha Bank's Consumer Finance Division says, "We are operating in a highly competitive market and our customers are our most valuable asset. We are delivering value back to them by consolidating their loyalty dynamics into an easy to understand and tangible reward scheme. We are significantly increasing our credit card operations when the market is in decline and I know of no other similar schemes locally or internationally that are achieving this success rate."

The Alpha Bank success story will be featured during the upcoming British Bankers Association conference in London on June 29th and at the "Banking on Loyalty" conference, 12-14th October 2011 which is being held in Nice, France (www.bankingonloyalty.com) and is organised by Loyalty Consulting UK.

Other speakers at the conference include subject matter experts, industry leaders and pioneers - Barclaycard, BP, Tesco, Mastercard and House of Fraser. Each will provide their insights on best practices, promising a valuable learning experience that will challenge current thoughts and beliefs regarding existing customer loyalty perceptions.

Mark Bergdahl, Loyalty Consulting UK's founder and Managing Director says, "The Bonus scheme is the latest innovation in getting closer to the customer with a reward scheme that is easy to understand and relevant to a mass market with something for everyone, whether you want to save your points for an international flight or a flat screen TV, treat yourself to a bottle of fine wine or simply exchange your points for everyday living purchases such as washing powder – the consumer is in control. The data we are gleaning from Bonus is enabling Alpha Bank and its partners to understand its customers better enabling them to increase credit card transactions and gain more card holders, whilst also offering useful and valuable promotional offers. The customer is getting something back from their everyday spend and more significantly the merchants are expanding their business. We are in effect creating a virtuous loyalty circle. Our conference in October will give an insight into Alpha Bank's success and will provide participants with the know how to achieve their own success".

Bonus is giving back to Greek consumers rewards for their loyalty to both the credit card and to the participating retailers - for doing what comes naturally. At a time of extreme pressure on the finances of all Greek consumers, this is a positive story that challenges the otherwise negative sentiment toward Bank’s both in Greece and across the globe.

Source: Loyalty Consulting UK
Date: 20.06.2011 [ID: 297]
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