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News Analysis 7 Jul 2021 - 3 min read

ANZ data chief bids to unlock customer data consent with Cashrewards ramp-up, push into personalised predictive offers, CX, partner with other brands

By Brendan Coyne - Editor
money shot

ANZ deploying cash back as the catalyst to unlock customer consent to use their transaction data to create deeper personalisation, bring in brand partners.

ANZ is starting to fully leverage its $26m investment in ASX-listed Cashrewards. The bank is positioning the loyalty scheme as a key plank of its personalisation and CX strategy in a bid to gain and retain customers – and crucially unlock customer data consent to branch into new areas with other brand partners. Meanwhile, Cashrewards merchants now have the opportunity to target all ANZ customers via the bank’s owned platforms.

What you need to know:

  • ANZ is starting to show why it took a 19 per cent stake in Cashrewards.
  • Opening a new Cashrewards programme to all banking customers, data and automation chief Emma Gray said it will serve as a cornerstone of personalisation efforts – and help the bank gain customer consent to bring other brand partnerships into play.
  • Ultimately, ANZ aims to make predictive personalised shopper recommendations based on transaction data, while opening conversations with customers about how to spend their cash rewards to improve financial wellbeing.
  • “That is really what this is all about.” – Emma Gray
  • Meanwhile, brands and merchants now get access to a tonne of ANZ inventory and 4.7m bank customers, said Cashrewards CEO Bernard Wilson.

It is all around getting more targeted, but we have to crack the consent framework as well.

Emma Gray, Group Executive for Data and Automation, ANZ

Merchant, banker

As part of Cashrewards' float last year, ANZ took a 19 per cent equity stake in the loyalty operator, which has since topped 1 million members. Last week the two announced a new scheme ‘Cashrewards Max’, open to all 4.7m ANZ debit and credit card holders. Customers earn cash back on purchases from circa 1,700 merchants and brands, some of whom now get to target those banking customers – but they will only pay on conversion.

Emma Gray, ANZ’s Group Executive for Data and Automation, is eyeing a much bigger opportunity: permission to use customer transaction data to build out new services and partnerships with other brands while pushing deeper into personalisation. She’s aiming to reach the point of predictive, personalised marketing messages and offers, based on banking customers' shopping habits, that save them money.  

ANZ’s ultimate ambition is that members use their cash back to improve their finances, such as pay off debt or top up savings, and it views the rewards scheme as a way to start those conversations – and get the green light to introduce other brands.

Consent catalyst

“We have an ability to use data – when customers let us. So we need their consent to use their data outside of our core business,” said Gray in a podcast interview with CEO, Shayne Elliott

“We want to have conversations with customers about their financial wellbeing, to tailor propositions around buying and saving for a home, buying and saving for a business. To do that, we need to become much more proactive – not just around our own propositions, but in the partners we introduce to them,” she added.

“So it is all around getting more targeted, but we have to crack the consent framework as well. Because increasingly our customers will start to say ‘I understand ANZ has brought me this proposition, I am going to give my consent for products and services that give more value to me’.

"That is really what this is all about. And Cashrewards is the first proposition that we are going to build the rails on… but you will start to see more partnerships.”

ANZ is unlocking all of this inventory that brands have never had access to before – they can now talk to a bank's entire customer base. We are not charging them for advertising spend.

Bernard Wilson, CEO, Cashrewards

Bank canvas

Opening up the entire customer base of a ‘big four’ bank and its inventory presents a “formidable performance marketing opportunity” for partner brands, according to Cashrewards CEO Bernard Wilson.

The former Woolworths, Quantium and Myer exec thinks the expanded programme will unlock significant growth for both Cashrewards and its partners, which are now co-funding a major promotional push.

“ANZ wants to differentiate versus the other big banks and the up-and-comers by offering cash rewards to customers that have not been able to participate before – because they have been on low fee credit or debit cards. In doing so, they are reinforcing our marketing business because they are bringing more high value customers to brands,” Wilson told Mi3.

“They are also unlocking all of this inventory that brands have never had access to before. It’s a ‘wow’ moment for brands, which can now talk to an entire bank’s customer base.”

And unless the transaction is delivered, brands don’t pay.

“We are not charging them advertising spend. There is no change to the revenue model. We are still transactions-based versus impressions and eyeballs.”

Returning spend otherwise blown on “wasted reach” to customers in the form of rewards – driving performance and loyalty ROI as a result – is key to Cashrewards appeal to brands, said Wilson.

It appears to be landing with punters too. Wilson said frequency is up 30 per cent and members numbers up 141 per cent year on year January to May, with the Covid e-commerce boom a key factor, he added, as brands work out how to differentiate online other than price.

Next up

Like its second biggest shareholder, Cashrewards is also in the market for further partnerships.

“ANZ isn't the only non-retail brand looking for differentiation from a customer perspective. We definitely think we can execute some more scaled channel partnerships,” said Wilson.

“Insurance, utilities, the types of business that are high cost to acquire a customer and high cost when they lose one.”

Meanwhile, as publishers build out first party data approaches, Wilson spots further potential. 

"I think there will be more partnerships in that space, where one party brings a high value customer cohort and rich data and the other party brings inventory and great execution on content." 

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Brendan Coyne


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