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Table of Contents

Lead Story

The squeeze in merchant cash advance

News

Industry Update

The VeriFone, Heartland rift

CIT seeks smooth reorganization

Optimizing online holiday sales

LINC-ed up in Sacramento

Remote debit gets a voice

Features

Research Rundown

Taking top strategies to market

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Clinical trial payments on plastic

Rebate chic

Retailer-centric PM lands AmEx deal

Views

Regulatory reforms loom

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group

Education

Street SmartsSM:
How much do you factor in price?

Jon Perry and Vanessa Lang
888QuikRate.com

Timing is everything

Bob Schoenbauer
Capitol Payment Systems Inc.

Hazards of chargeback monitoring

Ken Musante
Moneris Solutions

Protect your investment through non-competition agreements

Sarah Weston
Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss PC

Scrooge, a lesson in leadership

Dale S. Laszig
DSL Direct LLC

How to grow your merchant portfolio

Jeffrey I. Shavitz
Charge Card Systems Inc.

Company Profile

LIFT Network

New Products

Assistance with self-assessment

ExpertPCI
Panoptic Security Inc.

NFC-enabling sticker

Tetherball Tag
ViVOtech Inc., Tetherball LLC

Inspiration

Give props to the POS

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

November 23, 2009  •  Issue 09:11:02

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SP
Rebate chic

A new catchphrase has entered the payments lexicon - rebate chic. It defines how the current economy is shaping consumer behavior; to save money, consumers are seeking the best deals and discounts.

A Parago Inc. survey puts the shift in consumer behavior into concrete terms. Eighty percent of over 400 respondents acknowledged that the recession has affected their spending habits. Of those consumers, 55 percent said they are now more likely to look for products that include rebates. But with that increased demand comes the need for rebates to be efficiently managed.

"Convenience is critical," said Juli Spottiswood, Chief Executive Officer at Parago. "Rebates are still a very valuable promotional tool and even more so in today's economy."

She estimates that 50 to 60 percent of rebates are already issued via prepaid cards. "For the retailers, they get to brand a piece of plastic that stays in a customer's wallet for six, 12, 18 months," she said. "And that's hugely valuable." Rebate cards also allow merchants to deliver follow-up discounts and savings, as well as tailored, one-to-one marketing, she added.

A newer fashion

Spottiswood said the old-fashioned rebate check has been around for 30 years. While she believes rebate checks will never completely vanish, modern consumers are not keen on trudging down to banks to deposit checks. They like having the ability to quickly and easily redeem rebates on cards, in-store or online.

Ten years ago, when Parago was established, the rebate industry was rife with fraud and consumer dissatisfaction, Spottiswood noted. "Customers would mail in their rebate claims to get validated," she said. "They'd have to jump through hoops and be subject to a lot of business rules. They had no idea - kind of like a black hole - where they send it, when they would get their rebate. They would wait three, four, five months."

But that has changed. Now, Parago customers can go online 24/7 to see real-time balances and purchases, or get that information sent them via text message, Spottiswood said.

Prepaid style

At Parago, rebates make up only part of the company's overall promotions, incentives and loyalty services for Fortune 500 companies. The Dallas/Forth Worth-based business entered the prepaid card world five years ago. Spottiswood sees rebate cards as a significant growth area. It is already a $4 billion to $5 billion market and she expects a considerable jump in 2010.

The challenge is to get "retailers and service providers to think differently about how they reward their customers for rebates," she said. "It's taken time and I will say that there has been a recent explosion in the adoption rate for prepaid within rebates."


For more stories from SellingPrepaid E-Magazine, as well as breaking news and forums devoted to the prepaid sphere, please visit SellingPrePaid.com.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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