We spoke to Amisha Parikh, Vice President of Product Management, Loyalty, & Engagement at Mastercard in Canada about the importance of cultivating diverse perspectives within organizations, the keys to developing effective and engaging customer rewards programs, and what the future of the loyalty and rewards industry has in store.
Tell us about your experience working in the Customer Loyalty & Rewards industry.
I’ve worked in the Canadian loyalty space for almost a decade gaining experience in travel, coalition loyalty, and payments. Through my loyalty journey, I’ve learned the fundamentals of loyalty programs remain constant: brands need to create relevant, rewarding, easy-to-use programs that draw in new customers and keep their existing ones coming back.
At Mastercard, we combine our expertise in the payments industry with our foundational technology capabilities to deliver innovative solutions for benefits, offers, and rewards that can help financial institutions and merchants drive growth and sustained brand loyalty.
Integrating inclusivity has come to the forefront of how brands operate and in the way they deliver experiences to their customers.
How do diverse perspectives within an organization help shape programs and consumer experiences?
Integrating inclusivity has come to the forefront of how brands operate and the way they deliver experiences to their customers. For organizations to go beyond representation to authentic inclusion, they must draw upon the experiences, knowledge, and diversity within their own organization to design customer experiences with relevancy and transparency.
At Mastercard, we know people thrive when they feel they belong, and their ideas are valued. In a world where employees and consumers alike have more choices than ever before, experience is everything. This is why it’s important to draw upon the experiences, knowledge, and diversity within an organization so that every experience can be truly personal.
How have you seen the loyalty space evolve in 2021?
Canadians increasingly view loyalty programs as a financial asset. Consumers want the flexibility and choice to unlock value for what they want and when they want it. As a result of the new routines and behaviours from the pandemic, there’s an increased emphasis on personalized and flexible loyalty offerings. We have seen a notable shift over the past year, with increased use of our Pay with Rewards functionality, for redemption in everyday spend categories — such as grocery, gas, and pharmacy — allowing loyalty members to redeem their points on eligible transactions in real-time.
With these shifts, we’ve also seen the emergence of three primary consumer needs: well-being, personalization, and experience. At Mastercard, it’s our belief that these three needs in combination with prioritizing an exceptional digital, flexible, and safe experience will shape successful loyalty programs going forward.