Well, lately I’ve been thinking about what I know best and realized that I’ve been working with payment systems (credit cards and prepaid cards) for more than 17 years now. So, I’ll be blogging on a variety of topics in this area.
Everyone is familiar with Starbucks and their gift card (powered by ValueLink of First Data). It’s been an amazing success. In 2002, 7% of purchases were made with their prepaid card and more than 16 million prepaid cards have been activated. Of course, the Starbucks card is only useful at Starbucks.
There is a new style prepaid card coming on the market now. It’s found at www.ugcard.com. This new take on an old theme, emphasizes marketing and building sales in your business. Briefly it’s a single card, distributed by merchants, co-branded with participating merchants (a small UGC logo is on the front of all cards), and usable at all participating merchants. The card can be used to access separate accounts with each merchant. One cafe I know saw a sales lift of 40% within a month. I’ll talk more about this later.
I’ll also be discussing the advantages of plastic cards over paper certificates, why you should integrate with your POS, important reporting features, card designs, the importance and promise of standards, security, fraud, features to look for, loyalty integration, anonymous loyalty, … and more.
The thought I’ll leave you with is that while there are many providers, ranging from self hosted, third-party services, standalone products, etc. They all work (more or less). The most important part is how you design your card program and how you market it as this can have huge impacts on your bottom line.
More later …
29 Oct 2006