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DOVER, N.H. – RewardsNOW, the marketing and rewards company whose clients include the credit union-owned TNB Card Services as well as processing firm Metavante is rolling out Full Spectrum Rewards, a platform which the firm says will allow credit unions to assign rewards points to any or all of their products and services. Duane Kimball, CEO of RewardsNOW, said that the new rewards platform will enable credit unions and community banks to offer their members and customers the sort of comprehensive rewards program that larger competing banks have been able to offer their customers. “For the longest time Bank of America and Banco Popular have been able to offer their customers a comprehensive rewards program in house,” Kimball said. “Now credit unions and community banks will be able to do the same thing.” “Card-only loyalty programs are a thing of the past,” declared Gary Heatherington, chairman of the board of RewardsNOW. “Full Spectrum Rewards is leading the way in redirecting customer loyalty, tying customers to the institution, rather than just to the credit or debit card.” Previously, credit unions have generally approached rewards marketing by offering reduced rates on other products and other benefits as rewards for credit or debit card purchases. Such efforts have only had limited success, Kimball said, because their scope was too limited and because not enough members really wanted to lower rates on other products, even though they recognized the lower rates would benefit them. “In rewards programs we have really found that it’s the travel deals, the consumer goods, the shiny stuff that people want,” Kimball said. “The quarter point off the next auto loan doesn’t really motivate them as much,” he added, comparing them to getting carrots in your stocking on Christmas morning. Using the Full Spectrum Rewards platform a credit union will be able to assign points to any of its products and services, everything from obtaining mortgages and home equity lines of credit to using direct deposit and online bill pay, Kimball explained. Reward values could be assigned according to different profit margins, marketing efforts and pricing. “If a credit union knew that every new home equity line of credit brought it $300,” Kimball said, ” they might assign 20,000 points for opening a home equity line of credit. Or maybe 30,000 points for every mortgage opened over $150,000 or other smaller rewards values for services that it wants members to use.” “ This has had a very strong impact on the so-called `sticky’ services,” Kimball said, “the ones like direct deposit and bill pay that help keep members involved in their credit unions,” he said. Kimball explained that RewardsNOW had been beta-testing the platform at the $357 million Kishacoquillas Valley National Bank of Belleville, Pennsylvania, for 18 months and said that the bank had seen the expected results from the platform, up to 50% reduction in customer attrition as well as an increase in the revenue per customer and total number of products and services per customer. One key, Kimball explained, has been the ability to integrate the rewards platform with many other processing platforms in order to offer a possible reward across all of a CU’s products and services. The RewardsNOW offers travel rewards, consumer goods, gift certificates and downloadable products such as music, mobile phone ringtones and videos for rewards. Participating banks and credit unions will pay a small flat fee per month for program administration and then whatever the cost of redemption will be. Kimball said that the program will cost less than the comparable credit and debit programs and he predicted credit unions would see a return on their investments in terms of lower member attrition as well as increased use of CU products and services soon. Both TNB Card Services, which provides full-service credit and debit card processing and other payment solutions to credit unions, and Metavante Corporation, have already been involved in the development and testing of the new platform. “We see growing interest among credit unions in extending their rewards programs and further solidifying their relationships with members,” said Glen Lee, first senior vice president of TNB Card Services. “The Full Service Rewards program gives us the tools we need to help them accomplish that.” “This program works well for our customers because it lets them combine multiple product types under a single rewards platform,” said Mark Givens, product development manager for Metavante. “This innovative product provides them efficiencies, reduces their costs, and enables streamlined communications.” -

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