How to get more bang for your eBucks

FNB has come up with a way for customers to pay for purchases using eBucks without having the carry the eBucks card. Image: iStock

FNB has come up with a way for customers to pay for purchases using eBucks without having the carry the eBucks card. Image: iStock

FNB have added incentive by doubling fuel rewards if account holders finance their cars through Wesbank, load their vehicles on the FNB app, and fill up at Engen.

FNB’s industry-leading rewards programme, eBucks, will now offer customers on Gold, Premier, Private Clients and Private Wealth accounts the ability to earn up to R8 per litre back on their fuel purchases. After successfully tweaking its fuel rewards structure last year in an exclusive tie-up with Engen, it is looking to drive additional behaviour change from July by doubling the potential reward.

Normal fuel rewards on monthly fuel purchases at Engen stay the same, earning customers between 10c and R4 back per litre, depending on their reward level.

Now, however, if account holders have their vehicles financed through Wesbank (either directly or through FNB Vehicle Finance, Toyota Financial Services or VW Financial Services), have their vehicles loaded on the nav»Car portal on the FNB app, and if all their fuel spend in a quarter is at Engen only, they will earn double their fuel rewards. These rewards will be allocated at the end of each quarter (September, December, March and June). This means that even a customer on Level 4 can earn (a total of) R4 a litre back on fuel, if they meet the Double Up on Fuel qualifying criteria.

Customer-centric moves

For FNB, the strategy underlying this speaks to driving its new customer-centric operating model announced last October. Previously, Wesbank and FNB operated as almost entirely separate structures within FirstRand. The behaviour change incentivised by this eBucks tweak should see FNB get a much better view of a customer (in spite of the different business units). Additionally, Engen is surely providing additional incentive – via margin – to get customers to switch their fuel purchases to its network of filling stations exclusively.

Limits remain at 20% of total qualifying card spend or R2 000 per month for Premier, R2 500 for Private Clients, or R3 000 for Private Wealth accounts.

Given the Double Up on Fuel changes, reward points previously allocated for these behaviours (such as loading a vehicle on nav»Car) fall away. The points tiers per reward level have been lowered to cater for this adjustment.

Travel

FNB has expanded the eBucks travel offering, and from July 1 flights can be booked on the FNB app. The primary account holder’s travel discount (up to 40% on flights) now applies to their spouse as well as children who hold FNBy accounts. Johan Moolman, CEO of eBucks, makes the point that booking on eBucks Travel has “fraud benefits, given the added security of not having to enter card details” with each booking. Discounts across the family also only apply once their details are loaded to the main member’s family profile. Moolman adds that the requirement for members to spend eB5 000 in order to get the discount on its travel portal will be “disappearing”.

The number of Slow Lounge visits automatically allocated to customers has been reduced from July, but booking via eBucks Travel will ‘earn’ booster visits (taking the total allocation back to what it is currently). This will provide a strong incentive for (especially upper segment) customers to use the travel portal.

Other changes

A number of other changes, including partner changes, have been made across the programme (Gold, Premier, Private Clients and Private Wealth):

  • Customers who spend exclusively on their Fusion (hybrid cheque and credit card) or credit card will get Kauai vouchers valued up to R100 each month;
  • Uber Eats joins Uber as an eBucks partner and customers can earn up to 15% back on purchases (depending on their reward level);
  • Card purchases on the bank’s Global Debit card earn up to 4% back; and
  • Up to 40% can be earned back in eBucks on FNB Life insurance premiums.

Two new partners have been introduced for Gold account customers (Gold also reverts back to the ‘points’ model where certain behaviours earn certain points which determine a customer’s reward level). Depending on the reward level, customers can earn up to 15% back on purchases at KFC and up to 40% back on Intercape bus tickets.

Finally, changes are coming to the FNB app and customers will be able to see how to optimise their behaviour and earn more eBucks via a dashboard. “This could be the next two or three easiest things to do,” explains Moolman. At first, this will be a monthly view but it will become more dynamic later in 2019.

Recent purchases at partners such as Checkers and Makro can now be retrospectively paid via eBucks. A grocery shop at Checkers, for example, will show up in the app and if you’d prefer to rather pay for it in eBucks, your card purchase will be refunded. This removes the need for customers to carry the eBucks card.

Since inception, over R12 billion has been paid out in eBucks – R1.86 billion in the last 12 months alone.

Hilton Tarrant works at YFM. He can still be contacted at hilton@moneyweb.co.za.

Brought to you by Moneyweb

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