Oct 18, 2007

BPI releases new video - when was the last time you saw merchants really excited about a new payment feature?

And how can that excitement be channelled to protect interchange?

This 8 minute video (presented by BPI's Maria Cristina Go at Welcome's annual user summit in Dubai) is a collection of short interviews with top executives at Robinsons, the leading supermarket chain in the Philippines, Nike Women’s stores, a trendy restaurant chain called Bizu and a music retailer. These retail executives describe how they are using data inside BPI credit cards to target their promotions better and make their marketing campaigns more effective. When you watch the video, imagine using it as a tool to get lots of other merchants to also encourage customers to pay with their BPI card.

The executives describe the problems they face with current advertising and promotional marketing methods. Audrey Tanco at Bizu restaurants sums up the challenges from an ROI perspective: “It is very expensive to communicate to a broad market, so we have to really think of very creative ways to get our customers to keep coming back.”

The video then shows how BPI sets up the campaigns for merchants. This is a new, value added payment service that gets merchants to focus on the value that BPI provides, rather than the cost of payment acquiring or interchange fees.

“The best thing about it?” asks Robin Cu Unjieng, President & Managing Director of Nike Women. “Real Thrills is free.”



BPI is one of the largest issuers and acquirers in the Philippines. The bank runs one of the country’s two private label debit card and ATM networks, in a country with lots of debit cards but virtually none of them Visa or MasterCard debit cards. Their strength across both issuing and acquiring makes it possible for them to launch and operate a closed loop marketing platform for merchants.

Of course, most banks are not structured in this way, not even the largest international banks. And merchants in most countries would prefer being able to target a much larger customer base than a single bank’s cardholders. That’s why banks generally like being part of a branded network like Visa or MasterCard. Imagine a similar video showing how merchants can target their promotions to any customer paying with a Visa card. That's Welcome's new SPICED value proposition. I dare anyone to find a better way to justify interchange fees today.

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