EXCLUSIVE – October saw a plethora of new credit cards. From traditional banks such as HSBC releasing its Premier World Elite Mastercard Credit Card, to ride-share app Uber’s first foray into the market, it seems like everyone is interested in launching a new credit card promising to deliver what the other doesn’t.
The distinction each one of these credit cards is promising has to do with that card’s cashback and rewards.
In fact, last week during the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas, the topic of cashback and rewards was one of the key discussions among both fintechs and tradition financial institutions.
“Our rewards system is tailored to our users’ lifestyle and needs,” Judy Zhu, business development at Uber told Bank Innovation. “We’ve gathered a tremendous amount of information from our Uber consumers, so we understand what they want.”
Uber’s card, which is powered by Visa and made in collaboration with Barclays Bank, will go live on Thursday this week.
“The idea behind what our consumer wants online and offline in regard to their Uber experience was something we looked at to create this tailored rewards system,” Zhu said.
The card has 4% cash back on restaurants and UberEATS; 3% back on hotels and airfare, 2% back on retail and online purchase including Uber rides, and 1% back on everything else.
Menlo Park, California -based startup Deserve’s CEO and Founder Kalpesh Kapadia, resonated a similar sentiment when it came to adjusting the rewards to the consumer’s wants, telling Bank Innovation that the company’s eponymous card Deserve Pro, launched two weeks ago, has a rewards system that’s “relevant” to its users (predominantly between the age of 18-29).
“Discover Card has a reward tied to BJs [grocery chain], but that’s not a place a lot of millennials are going to spend their money,” Kapadia told Bank Innovation.
So, Deserve formed a rewards system that Kapadia refers to as 1-2-3.
Users get 1% cash back on all purchases, 2% cash back on restaurant purchases (with a $500 cap) and 3% cash back on travel and experience.
“These are areas where our customer get the most out of their rewards,” he said.
On a closer look, the infatuation with cash and rewards ties back to the discussion of service vs. product, a point stressed on by Accenture Digital Lead for Accenture Financial Services, North America, Michael Abbot when speaking about mega trends driving the payments space at Money 20/20.
Like Abbot, many others agree that the way to woo the customers is by service. This service not only needs to be comprehensive but also easy to use, seamless, and speedy.
Contactless payment technology provider FitPay’s CEO Michael Orlando agrees.
“It’s not just important to the consumer,” Orlando told Bank Innovation. “it’s what they expect.”
In August, FitPay collaborated with Garmin International to bring contactless payment to its latest smartwatch, Vivoactive 3. The feature works for both MasterCard and Visa users.