Bank of America is poised to begin field testing a brand new deals program that is based upon the spending habits of its customers. The program is called “BankAmeriDeals” and is going to be activated for BOA employees located in Nevada and both the Carolina`s this week. All of BOA`s approximately 275,000 employees based in the United States will have an opportunity to be part of the program come mid-February.
The entire “BankAmeriDeals” program is based upon the assessment of an individual`s spending habits. If, for example, if a program participant uses their BOA credit or debit card to purchase an item at a specialty retail store, the next time they log into their account online to do some they may find a discount offer issued from that store waiting for them. Or they may find an offer from a rival store that sells the same category of merchandise.
To take advantage of a proffered deal, the BOA customer simply clicks to accept. There is no need to print out an accompanying coupon or make any sort of deposit or payment up front, which differs from popular daily deal sites such as LivingSocial or Groupon.
Then, the next time the card is used the dollar value of the discount is recorded. After that, the customer will receive a cash-back reward equivalent to the lump-sum of all the discounts utilized. This cash-back reward will be doled out once a month, and currently the program has no maximum on the amount of cash back a single consumer is allowed to earn.
The program is not funded by Bank of America but rather the merchants extending the discount offers. Merchant-funded rewards programs are increasingly filling the void left behind from banks eliminating rewards programs linked to debit cards as a result of federal regulations restricting the fees banks are able to collect.
The banks views such offers as an opportunity to build and strengthen customer loyalty, the theory being that a consumer will more frequently use the card that is linked to the most appealing deals.
Banks of America has a special interest in cultivating customer loyalty, after their botched attempt to impose a $5 monthly fee upon their debit card users resulted in a 20% increase in account closings last fall.
Other banks, including Regions Bank and Chase, are experimenting with similar deal programs.