Reengineering Loyalty

New financial platform, Brim, leverages its state-of-the-art tech to deliver the most relevant rewards

BY THE GLOBE & MAILMarch 28, 2019

Canadians are sitting on $16 billion worth of unredeemed loyalty points, says Rasha Katabi, founder and chief executive officer of Brim Financial Inc., as reported in a 2017 report from Bond Brand Loyalty.

“It’s not just that people don’t redeem their points. Itʼs the fact that theyʼre simply not relevant or have been devalued to a fraction of what they once were” Ms. Katabi says. With most loyalty programs, points can be redeemed for marked-up items in a catalogue, for flights that you could find elsewhere at a much better price, or even for gift cards, she says.  “This is clearly not designed in consumers best interest.”

That’s why when Ms. Katabi’s team built the Brim Mastercard, they designed the most flexible, convenient and valuable rewards infrastructure for their cardholders – integrated seamlessly in the Brim experience, Katabi says. “

What makes Brim different? Cardholders can redeem their points on any purchase, Ms. Katabi says. When it comes to travel, for example, Brim cardholders can get the most value from their points by redeeming on their flight or hotel. “You’re able to travel on your own terms because you’re using your points at market fare – not a marked-up cost dictated by a rewards program,” she says.

Cardholders can put their points toward a specific transaction with a simple click or as instant cash back at any time.  “We allow our cardholders full flexibility to use their points however they want to use them,” says Thomas Patterson, Senior Product Manager. “Whether that’s for your morning coffee, tickets to the Leafs game, or dinner out with friends. You make the purchase first and then redeem your points later.”

Special redemption bonuses are also available that amplify the value of points. Brim cardholders can view these offers in Brim Marketplace, says Mr. Patterson.

“Right now we’re rolling out a redemption offer with Uber Eats where points are worth more when you redeem on specific purchases. Ultimately, we [will] have hundreds of redemption offers and thatʼs where people can really take advantage,” he says. “Not only do you earn way more point value with us, you can redeem at an amplification. This level of value to cardholders is unmatched.”

 

Brim Financial App showcasing loyalty with Uber Eats offer on iPhone App.

On the flip side, merchants can reward loyal customers with ever-increasing points bonuses. A coffee shop might want to reward customers for frequency, encouraging you to come back every morning, Ms. Katabi says. Or merchants can offer point bonuses during particular times of the week, month or year, like the holidays or slower weekdays.

We provide ultimate flexibility and value for consumers, Ms. Katabi says. Cardholders collect points in real-time when they make a purchase using their Brim card, and can redeem their points instantly through the online platform or app.

“Everything is embedded in your card, so you donʼt need to bring an extra loyalty card and swipe,” she notes. “You donʼt need to opt into specific offers, you’ll earn automatically.”

Merchants are seeing the benefits of using the Brim platform because it allows them to provide personalized offers to their customers with a turnkey solution, Ms. Katabi says.

“They donʼt need to do any integration which, from a merchant perspective, means time and resources,” she says. “From our perspective, having merchant partners simply enriches our total platform for the cardholder.”

Mr. Patterson, cites the personalized loyalty program Brim developed for meal-kit company HelloFresh. Customers get an up-front bonus of 2,000 points when they make their first purchase at HelloFresh using a Brim card. After that, points are amplified at every order, such as their fifth or 10th or 20th order over the course of a year.

For a company like eyewear retailer Ollie Quinn, customers get points for their repeat visits over a year, incentivizing them to come back and shop for additional eyewear like sunglasses or additional members of their family at Ollie Quinn instead of a competitor.

Mr. Patterson notes that Brim can launch a customized merchant offer available on all Brim cards nationally in just minutes.

“This is not heard of in the loyalty space,” Ms. Katabi adds. “Normally, this would take months to set up.”

Jessamyn Griffin, public relations and partnerships manager for Ollie Quinn, says they like Brim’s first-of-its-kind points system, which “not only makes for more efficient shopping, but a more seamless shopping experience as a whole for consumers.”

As Brim continues to develop customized programs with more and more merchants in Canada and around the world, it will only continue to benefit cardholders, Ms. Katabi says.

“Weʼre focused on delivering and optimizing the lifestyle experience for our members,” she says. “The reward proposition is unlimited.”

This article originally appeared in The Globe and Mail on March 26, 2019.

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