We provide a range of strategic and operational support services across the First Annapolis client base. We have completed a range of assignments with payment card and tender neutral programs. Project work includes research and analysis in support of loyalty program development and management, vendor selection, and platform implementation support. Our clients include financial institutions, retailers, travel providers, merchant acquirers, payment processors, technology service providers, and fulfillment companies.
Product & Program Expertise
One of our differentiators is that we bring extensive knowledge of the payments industry value chain to our engagements. We understand the complexities of creating a compelling value proposition embedded into payment products as well as the importance of analyzing relationships holistically. We have expertise across the loyalty market including the vendor community, vendor selection processes encompassing contract negotiations, program implementations and conversions.
The highlights below illustrate the type and scope of assignments that we have completed on behalf of our clients:
Program Development and Management:
- Developed strategic vision for enterprise-wide loyalty program for a top ten financial institution using a structured approach involving competitive research, strategic options definition, financial analysis, operating model development and implementation planning.
- Evaluated several loyalty program scenarios that a major retailer could offer to its customers through a series of benchmarking, financial modeling, and qualitative exercises.
- Assisted a travel provider with a co-brand partnership to analyze its options for managing the risk inherent in the variable cost associated with its loyalty program.
- Assisted a vendor in assessing its long-term opportunities with processors, acquirers and other loyalty providers, and performed a market sizing and revenue opportunity analysis.
Strategic Support and Market Research:
- Led a working session for a rewards fulfillment provider to help them better understand the current trends in the card industry so that they might better position their products and services.
- Developed a model to help a leading online retailer assess the revenue potential associated with the credit card rewards fulfillment market.
- Conducted market research among leading retailers on behalf of a lending transaction processing company to evaluate coalition loyalty program needs and opportunities.
Vendor Selection and Platform Implementation:
- Guided a start-up issuer through the loyalty provider selection process and assisted with their program’s structure, catalog development, implementation and future product strategy.
- Facilitated a top 10 issuer's conversion to a new rewards platform provided by a different loyalty service provider than the prior and helped implement its long-term rewards strategy.
- Executed an RFP process to assist a top 10 financial institution identify strategic loyalty services providers alternatives.
- Executed an RFP process to assist a financial institution identify a loyalty services provider and analyzed pricing terms to make a recommendation.
Effective loyalty program management has become increasingly critical to organizations as program liabilities have grown into the billions over the past several years. Successful deployment of a loyalty program requires that the sponsoring organization has defined a clear set of rational and measurable objectives and that the technology and infrastructure can be developed to support the overall strategy of the program.
As loyalty programs have gained in scope and scale, so have the associated program liabilities. Credit card issuers in particular have reported material events in company financials relative to changes in program costs or redemption behavior. Similarly, program managers have deployed wide scale changes to manage program costs including introduction of variable rate redemption alternatives and merchant-funded programs.
In the case of co-branded or retail private label payment products, associating a customer loyalty program with a payment card can be very effective in driving cardholder acquisition, product utilization, and customer retention. Careful definition of program objectives and alignment of business terms between the program sponsor and the card issuer are crucial in ensuring long term success of the partnership.