Banks can use data-driven payment perks to encourage smarter shopping

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Banks can relieve some of the financial pressure that comes with periodic shopping spikes and build stronger customer relationships at the same time. By leveraging the customer data they already have, plus contextual data like location, weather, and customer preferences, banks can deliver relevant, targeted offers to customers as they shop.

Most banks already have the means to communicate directly with customers, in the form of a mobile banking app or email. It’s just a matter of putting those channels to good use. Targeted discounts and perks reduce shopping costs — and therefore customers’ stress. Plus, personalization makes it more likely that customers will take banks up on their offers.

Here are a few examples of ways banks could add value for customers during seasonal increases in shopping and spending.

Geo-targeted discounts and a charity incentive: Based on a consumer's location, it’s likely he or she is shopping at a pop-up market. His bank sends him a special offer to receive double points on any gift he buys there. The bank can offer to donate a percentage of the transaction to charity.

Gamified offers tailored to the customer’s immediate situation: Another consumer is sitting at home. It’s pouring rain outside, and it’s unlikely she’ll make it out of the house to shop. Her bank sends her a special offer for extra rewards at one of her favorite online retailers. To make the deal even sweeter, her bank gamifies rewards for extra spending — for example, if she spends over $100 at the partner retailer, she gets 2x rewards. If she spends over $200, she gets 3x rewards — and so on.

Discounted services and personalized recommendations: While a consumer is shopping for presents at her local mall, her bank sends her an offer for free gift wrapping services if she uses her card to make a purchase. It also gives her a nudge when she is close to a store where she’ll earn credit card rewards. For example, if one of her cards offers extra cash back on dining, Juana’s bank can send a nudge suggesting that a restaurant gift card might be a great gift purchase.

The consumer banking landscape is becoming more competitive, especially with big tech companies entering the fray. Lending customers a helping hand during busier times is a great way to build stronger customer relationships and stand out from the competition.

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