Ai Editorial: Dual Co-Brands & Improving Loyalty Revenues



Dual Cards - is your loyalty program leaving revenue on the table?
Guest editorial from The Mallett Group

Over the past few years Dual (Jewel/UK lingo) card offerings have begun to be reluctantly embraced by the merchant networks to address acceptance issues. For those of us who have not encountered dual card offerings, they are co-branded credit card products that offer not one, but two network branded cards tied to a single consumer account.  Meaning there may be a Diners Club card paired with a MasterCard that is placed into market within an airline co-brand offering.

Why:
Because the dual network offering allows the issuer to garner all spend due to acceptance restrictions in certain markets.  For example, Amex has more limited merchant acceptance in the UK market so a companion Visa is offered to capture spend that otherwise would be relegated to other card products in wallet.  Meaning it is better to have partial share than no share at all.  Counter intuitive upon first blush, but potentially sound as one never wants to be late to the party.

Where:
We have seen these offerings in the UK – with the likes of Virgin Atlantic, as well as with airlines in Spain and India. And, watch this space as there are more to come!

Challenges:

  • Ego: When was the last time die hard competitors played together and were happy?
  • Commercial:  Complex negotiations to produce a consumer value proposition (CVP) that is acceptable to both networks
  • ROI: Projections of spend that relate to back-end compensation to the network, issuer and ultimately the brand sponsor
  • Marketing: Messaging correctly to acquire and retain.  Customer confusion can be a concern
  • Earn:  Internal network requirements place restrictions on enhanced and devalued mileage/point earn ratios
  • Benefits:  What card benefits get attached to what network offering
  • Negotiations:  How to please some of the people some of the time
  • Contracts:  How agreements are structured and how the money flows including VAT in some markets
     

Outcome:
The Dual Card offering can be a powerful measure to employ in a less than ideal market situation.  However, one needs to navigate the obstacles in a sophisticated manner.  It takes more than the average plug and play solution, but in the end it can provide a robust product to consumers and reward the brand with enhanced commercials.

To learn more about loyalty co-brands and dual cards in particular, please contact Marc Berman, President, The Mallett Group by emailing him directly at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   He will also be at FFP Spring at the Freddies in Washington DC on 25th of April as well as at the Co-brand Partnerships Conference running as part of Mega Event.  Details of both events can be found at: www.AirlineInformation.org/events