Author: Fayelizabeth Foster, Head of Loyalty and Rewards at Standard Bank
Through its popular UCount Rewards programme, Standard Bank put money back into the pockets of its customers over the 2021 year-end spending period, helping to stretch the holiday budgets of millions of South African consumers amid a challenging economic environment.
Fayelizabeth Foster, Head of Loyalty and Rewards at Standard Bank South Africa, says that the total amount redeemed through the programme in 2021 is a 23% increase on the previous year-end period. At the same time, consumer spend over this season increased by 17% in 2021 compared to 2020. The points redeemed helped members to save money on their purchases at participating retailers over this time, she explains.
Standard Bank data shows that Dis-Chem, Hirsh’s Home Store, and Makro (in no particular order) were among the top three retailers where UCount members chose to redeem their points during the year-end season.
UCount Rewards members can earn points every time they swipe their Standard Bank personal Cheque, Credit, or Debit cards, earning even more points when spending at certain participating retailers. The bank has also made it easier for customers to earn more reward points on their spend than ever before through the Choose Your Own Rewards feature. This enables members to earn up to 20%* back in points based on their spending preferences in a chosen category of either Grocery, Fashion, or Lifestyle.
“Consumer spending patterns change drastically during this time of the year, as their spending is influenced by many factors such as travelling, vacations, gatherings with friends and family, celebrations, and gifting,” explains Foster. “The reality, however, is that many individuals may have found themselves experiencing financial pressures due to the impact of rising costs, among other factors. By redeeming their UCount points, members were able to make their money go a little further.”
The December – January period is a time during which many people travel around the country for a much-needed break and to visit family and friends. But the hefty price of fuel would’ve made road trips more costly at a time when many individuals were strapped for cash.
“There are so many quick wins through the UCount loyalty programme that can help ease your financial burden. You can pay for necessities during the December-January period like petrol, toiletries, groceries, gifts, and even stationery before the school year starts, which ultimately helps with liquidity,” says Foster.
"As the name suggests, UCount Rewards provides an opportunity for us as Standard Bank to give something back to our customers by making it easier for them to be rewarded for their spend over the year.”