The program, which U.S. Bank began piloting in November last year, alerts customers through an email "several times a month" that they have been given a gift card valid for a specific merchant, the companies said in a joint statement. U.S. Bank is doing a "methodical rollout" of the program, said Mike Shepard, SVP of consumer credit and debit products at U.S. Bank., which entails identifying the best customer segments to introduce the campaign.
Shepard added that U.S. Bank is expanding the pilot program because consumers consistently took advantage of their gifts each week, and because of the low opt-out rate from customers who’d chosen to receive the gift card.
FreeMonee pairs select customers with specific merchants based on matching technology that FreeMonee CMO Jim Taschetta compares to the technology used by dating site eHarmony. "It uses anonymous transaction data, which the bank can use to understand who the consumer is," Taschetta explained. "Our algorithms look for patterns among that transaction data to help indicate the likelihood that the consumer will shop at a specific merchant. It scores and rates that likelihood next to other merchants in the system. It can also predict spend based on transaction history. Then it decides the right level of gift to incent you to shop at that merchant."
Additionally, Taschetta said, the system determines the likelihood each selected customer will redeem the gift card. This drives ROI for participating merchants because FreeMonee is designed to predict which customers will spend more than the gift amount.
Customer reward programs will be key discussion points at the upcoming Loyalty World USA, October 29th-31st in Las Vegas.