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How to deliver personalized promotional offers and rewards customers want 

August 17, 2021
4 min read

Imagine your bank’s marketing team tasked with product ideation. Their brainstorming sessions turn to excitement because they’ve come up with what appears to be a unique, compelling promotional offer to help drive new consumer loans into your bank’s portfolio for the next quarter.

Senior leadership loves the offer.

The frontline team is excited because they KNOW this is something customers want.

The operations team, however, immediately goes into a cold sweat.

There are a number of reasons offer management is so difficult for banks, and the operations team knows all of them. They live with them daily and recognize the complexities of setting up and then managing multi-faceted pricing.

The challenges of launching new offers and rewards

As enthusiasm builds for new product initiatives, the back office begins calculating the resources and skill sets needed to set up and manage the new accounts and criteria.

Offer set-up requires:

  • New workflows and processes spread across multiple systems of record. Most of the time, these disparate bank systems don’t talk to one another, complicating offer creation.
  • Manual updates and extended IT support is needed for various system processors, lengthening product launch timelines.
  • Offers and rewards have to be deployed on all digital and physical channels uniformly.
  • User-defined tools, like spreadsheets or data exports, must be created to fill in automation gaps.

If a bank determines it’s going to be too much of a burden on internal resources to manually build and manage new bundled packages or relationship pricing is too unwieldy or expensive, they may abandon the idea all together, even if it’s good business for the bank and advantageous to customers.

As banks ponder the importance of investing in offers management, one question to ask is how many offers they’ve NOT done because of their legacy systems. Or alternatively, how many do they adjust and constrain when they do launch to make them simpler and less risky to manage? For a number of banks, the answer to those questions would be “too many”, thanks to inflexible legacy systems.

Two questions banks must ask:

  1. How many potential offers are we unable to launch because we lack the capacity to deliver them?
  2. How many offers are constrained when we do launch in order to manage operational risk?

Managing and monitoring offers is not easy either

If a bank successfully brings a sophisticated offer to market, in spite of internal systems challenges and manual workflows, it still has its work cut out for it, ensuring customers receive their promised offer accurately and on time. Some of the problems banks face in fulfilling rewards and special offers are:

  • The use of inefficient tools and processes to compensate for system gaps
  • Manual mapping so the right offers are promoted to the right customer segments
  • Meticulous, time-consuming monthly reviews of customer activity that could include hundreds, even thousands, of individual accounts across multiple systems of record
  • Delayed month-end data that keeps customers in the dark about whether they’ve met the criteria to maintain their offer.

Customers do want Offers & Rewards

Even though it’s difficult to implement offers and rewards seamlessly, customers are clear – they want them. In a 2020 Zafin Consumer Banking Survey, almost 86% of millennials said a rewards program would lead them to either expand their relationship with their bank or switch to another bank. As banks strategize about ways to retain and attract customers, this affinity towards incentives, especially among coveted younger consumers including Gen Z, can’t be ignored.

Progressive modernization can leapfrog offer management bottlenecks

Banks face growing urgency – from customers and competitors – to digitally transform and abandon one-size-fits-all mass offers. Progressive modernization, by externalizing the offers management process from the core, can deliver on both of those goals in a much shorter time frame for less cost and risk.

The Zafin advantage – real-time Offers & Rewards

Zafin’s out-of-the-box SaaS Offers & Rewards solution is a powerful and versatile technology that empowers banks to create offers that resonate with customers while automating back-office functions so they can be executed more easily, with greater accuracy and governance.

Offers & Rewards addresses most of the pain points experienced by business line leaders, risk officers, and marketing and sales in new product launches and brings rich customer data to the forefront that banks can access and act on.


Founded in 2002, Zafin offers a SaaS product and pricing platform that simplifies core modernization for top banks worldwide. Our platform enables business users to work collaboratively to design and manage pricing, products, and packages, while technologists streamline core banking systems.  

With Zafin, banks accelerate time to market for new products and offers while lowering the cost of change and achieving tangible business and risk outcomes. The Zafin platform increases business agility while enabling personalized pricing and dynamic responses to evolving customer and market needs.   

Zafin is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, with offices and customers around the globe including ING, CIBC, HSBC, Wells Fargo, PNC, and ANZ.

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