Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) brands adding loyalty programs to differentiate

Finder provides a comparison list of 11 'buy now pay later' services (BNPL) in Australia:

Afterpay; ZipMoney; ZipPay; Humm; Openpay; Brighte; Creditline; Klarna, Bundll, Laybuy, Latitude Pay and with Visa also announcing a BNPL service, that makes it 12.

The BNPL market is starting to be cluttered.

It’s not surprising (to me) to see loyalty programs being launched by BNPL brands as a competitive differentiator to keep their customers connected to their brand.

In early June, Klarna claimed to have the world’s first shopper loyalty program with the launch of Vibe in the US, with the rollout in Australia within the next year.

It’s a proprietary program model (owned and controlled internally) with a points program structure, “Vibe members earn one ‘Vibe’ (point) for every $1 they spend.

  • Vibes can be redeemed for rewards such as gift cards from customer favorites like Starbucks, Sephora and Uber.
  • Vibe members will have access to exclusive online and offline sales and shopping experiences
  • They can even earn an extra layer of rewards if they are already part of an existing loyalty program through the retailer that they are purchasing items from*”.

(* I like this ideas of double dipping the benefits for members).

While Vibe is not yet in Australia, it’s Afterpay who appear to be first to market here with the launch of their loyalty program model as a QFF partner (partnership of a coalition).

The two respective industry giants -  Afterpay and Qantas Frequent Flyer announced their partnership on 6th July.

Without knowing the financial details, this looks like a perfect partnership for both parties.

Afterpay have 3 million plus Australian customers and are bound to attract more customers from QFF’s 13 million+ members.

It also adds some stickiness to the customers as QFF points are still desired even without current demand of flights as a redemption offer.

QFF are adding a massive boost of points earning (revenue as well) through Afterpay customers connecting to the QFF program.

It seems to be a perfect connection of “frequent buyers” with Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth confirming this by adding “earning points with Afterpay would be a huge advantage to the program’s large portion of ‘frequent buyers’, who maximise their points earn on everyday spend”.

According to the media release this is how Australian customers can earn Qantas Points with Afterpay:

New to Afterpay: 

  • “Earn 500 Qantas Points for joining and adding your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership number to your Afterpay account and earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent, up to a total of 5,000 Qantas Points.”

Already shopped with Afterpay: 

  • “Link your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership number to your Afterpay account. Once you’ve spent $1,000 you’ll earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent, up to a total of 5,000 Qantas Points.
  • “The offer to existing Afterpay customers is limited to the first 50,000 members who link their membership number to their Afterpay account.”

The limits in points earned and members joining should help Afterpay manage their investment in this partnership and no doubt they would have been rigorous with the financials to come up with these limitations.

From an outsider looking in through the Afterpay and QFF window, this looks like the landing of a mutually beneficial partnership.

Now, which of the BNPL brands are next to launch a loyalty program?

What will be there point of difference?

I have some ideas...

2 Responses

  1. Recently, I was on eBay looking at Ottoman Banknotes. And there was one banknote with a price tag of $1350. Wow! But then I noticed there was the option to use Zip and pay periodic installments instead. Imagine, before I was adamant I wasn't going to pay that amount, but then there is a second option whereby I will end up paying slightly more, but I am more than happy to so. This follows a key idea from Behavioral Economics that I stumbled across that "people assign different characteristics and purposes to money" (seeing a $1350 reduction in my Savings Account in one go ain't a nice feeling). The BNPL industry presents an opportunity for Loyalty Programs for two reasons - the removal of friction (i.e. resistance to purchase) for consumers using technology and the ability for consumers to purchase (relatively speaking) expensive items quicker rather than focusing on saving the same amount over a period of time.
    • Adam Posner
      All valid and insightful comments - thanks

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