The Accourt team have worked with rights holders around the world over the last 25 years. These rights holders would traditionally be categorised as ’Affinity’ or ‘Co-Brand’ partners for banks and credit card companies.
However since the financial crisis of 2008 that market changed overnight, not only in respect of a dramatically revised revenue model but as significantly in the impact it had on a client’s database with significantly reduced card acceptance, a decrease in customer loyalty and in many cases the end of what should have been a successful co-brand/affinity partnership.
Co-Brand, Affinity and Emerging Payments
There is now a new world order in the card and payments industry, an exciting range of products that can not only plug the hole where the traditional affinity/co-brand model sat, but more so expand its viability in creating a series of card & payment solutions that will appeal across an entire customer database.
Co-branded credit and charge cards still have a role to play but should be supported by prepaid cards, e-commerce and virtual payments, mobile payment technology, etc. With some clients, where relevant, we will also embark upon such offerings as corporate card solutions, biometric payments, the development of cashless stadia and arenas etc.
In all instances we recognise that many of our clients, the rights holders, have experienced a co-brand or affinity credit card relationship in the past. Generally they will have been disappointed that this relationship is no longer delivering the sort of returns they anticipated, or not reaching their customer audience (because of lack of appeal, relevancy or attainability) or no longer available to them from the card issuer. Accourt will work with the rights holders not only in running a diagnostic to assess the viability of a current programme but more so to devise and implement a strategy that will encompass all relevant card & payment products and moreover appeal to the entire customer database.
Furthermore we recognise the value of customer loyalty and each programme we develop for our clients is augmented by a highly compelling range of benefits, segmented to appeal to different audience demographics but in all instances with the express purpose of developing a card/payments product that becomes ‘front of wallet’ and the card of choice.
Accourt works internationally with its Rights Holders and concentrates primarily in the following sectors:
- Retail: High street, Supermarkets, Online
- Travel: Airlines, Hotels, Travel Companies
- Sport: Football clubs, National bodies, Stadia & Arenas
- Educations: Universities, Schools, the student market
- Charity: Individual charities or the development of a collective umbrella for a number of related causes
- Corporate–SME payment solutions
When working with a rights holder we represent their best interests and so, whilst many card companies are our clients, we are independent and card company agnostic when representing our rights holders.
The range of services we provide for the Rights Holders include:
Analysis: Diagnostic assessment of existing card programmes including revenue audit, consumer value proposition review and partner relationships / contractual obligations.
Partnership Development: Evaluation of a current partnership against market competitors and other products such as prepaid, virtual cards, and mobile payments..
Strategy Delivery: Delivery of a robust card & payments strategy to incorporate quantified projected earnings, customer value proposition (higher usage & retention), marketing channel optimisation (including social media and mobile) and preferred partner assessment.
Project Management: Ongoing management of the partnership portfolio to ensure: optimal revenue returns; compelling, relevant and attainable consumer benefits propositions; and management of all processes, procedures and regulatory obligations.
Co-brand and affinity practice
Accourt’s co-brand and affinity practice focuses on the optimisation of loyalty driven card programmes.
We have a wealth of experience in the co-brand and affinity market and an in-depth understanding of how reward and benefit driven card programmes can deliver significant and quantifiable upside in terms of increased revenue streams, greater customer loyalty, and an optimised programme performance.
Historically, co-brand and affinity cards have been relatively successful for all stakeholders: the issuing bank, the payment scheme, the co-brand partner and the cardholder. However a number of disparate but related factors have contributed to a sea-change. As a result of the global financial downturn the card revenue model has been significantly impacted, the banks’ lending criteria has become more risk adverse and the consumer, due to wider access to a range of card, payment and loyalty options, has become a lot more selective in their choice thus affecting front of wallet sustainability.
As a consequence many brands and rights-holders feel disenfranchised with less card applications being approved, revenues being reduced, and their customer base displaying reduced loyalty and longevity to their card programme.
In parallel the card issuers have not received the required level of commitment from their co-brand partner in terms of reward and loyalty products, customer accessibility, and low cost marketing channels. Accordingly portfolio profitability has been significantly impacted.
Why Choose Accourt
We have a team of high calibre individuals who have successfully managed numerous Regulatory and Payment Scheme applications for organisations wishing to apply for full banking, electronic money and PI licences. Our seasoned experts have both the relevant IP, hands-on experience and operational know-how to ensure successful applications.