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Standard Bank’s UCount and Momentum’s Multiply loyalty reward programmes offer easy sign-up procedures

Customers Stand in Line at Grocery or Supermarket Turn with Goods in Shopping Trolley Put Buys on Cashier Desk for Paying. Purchases, Sale Consumerism, Queue in Store Cartoon Flat Vector Illustration
There are loyalty schemes that are actually just designed to reward those who sign up. Image: Supplied

Let’s do a little experiment. Pull out a couple of your loyalty cards and tally up how much value they’ve actually added to your life. How much did it cost to accumulate enough points to reach platinum status? How unnecessarily portly is your wallet all so that you can respond “yes” when the person behind the till says “do you have a xxx card?”

The unspoken truth about loyalty cards and the programmes they represent is that a lot of them are more of a cumbersome inconvenience than the plastic they’re printed on. That, however, is not true of all of them. There are some whose aim seems to be to provide real value to their customers — loyalty schemes that are actually just designed to reward those who sign up, rather than ensnare people in a morass of jargon and points technicalities.

Not all of them are the devil, though.

If you get the right array of benefits, like you do with Standard Bank’s UCount and Momentum’s Multiply loyalty programmes, everything can be peachy keen.

One of the things that makes loyalty cards as comfortable as an unreachable unteachable itch is the sign-up process. Often you need to use extra cards, activation codes and a vial of blood with each transaction, all so you can get 38c back on your last purchase. Both Standard Bank and Momentum have easy sign-up procedures and once done, they only really require a card to use.

It’s rare that large corporations take an interest in actually providing value to our lives. Anecdotal evidence suggests that they’re far more interested in being the stereotypical business villains that we see in movies and documentaries.

Standard Bank UCount and Momentum Multiply are different. Instead of just throwing a bunch of meaningless rewards at its customer base, they seem genuinely interested in providing benefits that can be used to alleviate the increasing economic stress we all seem to be finding ourselves under these days — all while being convenient.

Wow, we may just have to start adjusting some of our stereotypes about banks.

 

Extensive partnerships give Momentum Multiply members endless choices

What are the two things you’re most likely to be worried about when you check your pockets? For most people it’s their phone and their wallet. Oddly enough, they’re also the two things whose innards are filled with the most useless stuff.

Take your wallet, for instance, how many cards do you have in there? How many of them can be used in lieu of real money or help you conjure a stack of crisp Mandelaz when you visit an ATM? Finally, how many of them need you to rack up points so that you can save R20 off your purchase of R2,000 or more?

Being a part of the Momentum Multiply rewards programme gives you access to an extensive list of treasures.
Image: Supplied/Momentum

 

Loyalty cards and the programmes they represent are as ubiquitous as sugar. Everyone seems to have one and they’re all allegedly spectacular. Like sugar, however, not all loyalty reward programmes are the same. Some have all the nutritional value of a half a glass of syrup, while others can be as beneficial as a bowl of freshly sliced fruit. Momentum Multiply fits firmly in the sliced fruit section.

Take its HealthReturns, for example. Members using their HealthReturns can earn up to R3,000 a month per family to help pay for day-to-day health care costs and can claim back their health activity tracking device. Depending on your Multiply status, you can become eligible for a cashback bonus of up to 30% of your car and home insurance premiums every year, even if you claim.

You can also get up to 60% off your monthly Momentum Myriad life insurance premiums and your rewards do not just extend to Momentum products.

Thanks to an extensive network of partnerships, being a part of the Momentum Multiply rewards programme gives you access to a plethora of treasures. For example, you can get discounted plane tickets, gym memberships, movie tickets, hotel accommodations, health products, Apple and Samsung devices and even golf gear.

In short, the programme is comprehensive. And signing up for all this goodness is simple and can be done using Wi-Fi and a few of your Momentum details.

In a lot of ways, picking the right loyalty rewards plan is like Tinder. There are heaps of objectively bad choices out there. Then there are some that look good but after swiping right and signing up you discover that it was all just clever camera angles and a few well-worded phrases. Every now and then, however, one finds a Prince Charming, a rose among a thicket of barbed wire. The success story that everyone touts. Momentum Multiply is that heart-throb. Light on fuss and heavy on rewards, it is perfectly suited for people trying to make better choices and save money while doing so.

 

Standard Bank’s UCount is a rewards system that really allows customers to save money

Standard Bank’s UCount rewards system is well poised to do exactly what one needs from a loyalty card: save you money.

Standard Bank’s UCount rewards system is well poised to do exactly what one needs from a loyalty card: save you money.
Image: Supplied

Here is the thing about loyalty cards, they can be cumbersome. Accumulating too many of them will make your wallet look like a rotund leather hamster and also leave you having to do quadratic equations just to try to figure out what your points situation is. Then, once you’ve figured out the nuclear physics that is points accrual, it turns out that the rewards are not even all that great. Spending thousands of rand ends up entitling you to a free stick of gum and a Coke. The whole thing can make you wonder what the point of it all is and leave you wanting to ignore it all together.

Mercifully, Standard Bank’s UCount rewards system doesn’t fall into that category. With coronavirus already having an adverse effect on consumers’ ability to spend money, Standard Bank’s UCount rewards system is well poised to do exactly what one needs from a loyalty card: save you money.

“We know based on surveys that Retail POS (point of sale) is about to decrease between 10% to 30% in the next few months. As a result we will see decreased consumer spending, but we also know some customers will see reduced income. To assist customers with cash flow, we have reduced the minimum amount customers can now redeem into their PureSave accounts to 2,000 Rewards Points (R200). This will help members to have some cash to be able to buy those essential items,” said Fayelizabeth Foster, personal and business banking, loyalty and rewards, executive head at Standard Bank.

To further assist people in this trying time, UCount members can also get their essential items when they redeem their Rewards Points for Checkers, Shoprite and Woolworths vouchers on the UCount Rewards online Mall and still redeem their rewards points at Makro for essential items. Furthermore, until June 15, customers will be able to qualify for top-tier rewards without spending the usual R20,000 required to qualify. What is even better is you don’t need a physical rewards card to start earning points.

So how does UCount work? Well, it’s actually pretty simple, you do it all online so there is no need to worry about social distancing. Then once you are verified, you’re good to go. From there the question becomes, what’s in it for you, and fortunately creating fiscal breathing room is what this programme was made to do.

For example, how often have many of us got to the petrol station late in the month and had to make some tactical decisions based on the amount of petrol you needed vs the amount of money you had? Well, UCount allows its users to earn up to R5 per litre back in reward points when refuelling at Caltex. That kind of money can make all the difference. Members also get rewarded for every transaction and get bonus value if they decide to do their shopping at places such as Checkers, Checkers Hyper, Woolworths and PnP.

It seems that instead of just throwing a bunch of meaningless “rewards” at its customer base, Standard Bank UCount is genuinely interested in providing benefits that can be used to alleviate the increasing economic stress we all find ourselves under these days, especially during this pandemic. All that while being convenient. Wow, we may just have to start adjusting some of our stereotypes about banks.

This article was paid for by Standard Bank and Momentum.