Archive for February, 2012

Card Compliant’s FinCEN’s Prepaid Access Rule Webinar

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Are you a retailer or merchant looking for the latest information on FinCEN’s final rule? Wayne Chatham, CEO of Card Compliant will be educating retailers, restaurants, merchants, and other card issuers on potential compliance solutions and exemptions to FinCEN’s requirements via a 1 hour webinar on February 29, 2012 at 1pm CT.

“We are especially interested in having retailers and restaurants participate in the webinar as this may be the first time many have faced compliance issues generated by FinCEN,” states Chuck Rouse, Card Compliant’s Chairman.  “Among other topics, we will address FinCEN, the FinCEN rule on prepaid access, the closed-loop exemption to the rule, the $2,000 closed-loop value requirement, and the $10,000 seller requirement.”

Join in on this learning and sharing session and register for the webinar at no cost:  Are Your Pre-paid, Closed Loop Gift Cards FinCEN Compliant?

Card Compliant Logo
Source: national newswire

How Will You Achieve Your Next Generation Loyalty Program?

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Many retailers and merchants decide to go it alone when it comes to creating or updating their customer loyalty program. But those who have an existing loyalty program still need to ensure it remains fresh and offers the best of what customers are expecting.

Truly, you should be thinking about going beyond basic loyalty, to gain loyal customer and brand advocates. Here are some simple steps to take to update your program…and keep those customers coming back.

  • Check on up-to-date market research and demographics, where your customers hang out could change over time
  • Ask yourself: Who ARE my next generation customers?
  • Where do your existing customers and those you want to acquire hang out? Is print media still the best way to reach them,  or are they on the other side of the gamut, and Facebook is “old hat”?
  • What makes your followers tick, what are their core values, what do they really want from your brand or merchandise?
  • Should you increase the flexibility of your program by offering incentives and rewards like gift cards, which compliment your brand or share your values?
  • What loyalty program features are your competitors offering and are the features of value to your customers?

Check out more about internally run loyalty programs in our blog: Customer Loyalty Points Programs, YOUR Own Way.

Is your Health and Wellness program up to date?

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Some interesting findings from our neighbors to the north. Striking data about the discrepancy between where companies see their health and wellness initiatives at the present versus where they think this programming needs to be to have a real effect on their company’s bottom line. Do the following 3 areas apply to your health and wellness program?

1. While employers are articulate about what they want to accomplish with health and wellness programs…

    • 75%—healthy workplace culture;
    • 54%—cost reductions;
    • 54%—improved productivity/performance;
    • 51%—higher employee engagement;
    • 49%—better health status of workforce; and
    • 15%—assistance with recruitment and retention.

…almost one third of employers did not know which risk/disease categories were driving their health care costs. Ensuring that all available data is used to craft an effective employer health and wellness program that will have measurable results on the company’s bottom line health care costs.

2. The majority of health and wellness programs focus on education and awareness, when activity based programs that focus on improved health practices and reduced costs are more effective. Changing employee behavior and rewarding health habits through small denomination gift cards and other rewards can help achieve the desired behavior.  The will also have lasting impressions on employees and employers’ costs.

3. Integrating measurable goals and objectives for health and wellness programs with traditional elements such as HRA’s and awareness and education elements is a key to success. 87% of employers think that health and wellness programs must take an integrated approach to lowering costs, while only 15% feel that their programs are integrated. Taking this next step in integration is key to moving health and wellness programming forward in a climate of sky-rocketing health care costs.

For more information check out the BenefitsCanada article.




Safety Program Ideas You Can Really Use

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

GiftCard Partners recently published our Gift Card Usage results white paper, which is chock full of ways employers are using gift cards to engage, motivate and reward employees.  Employers use incentives to promote all kinds of desired behaviors, but amongst the most important are for complying with safety regulations and precautions. A safer workplace leads to lower company healthcare insurance premiums, lower employee coverage contributions, less sick days, fewer short-term and long-term disability work outages, and increased productivity.

Here are a few of our best safety program success stories involving gift cards as incentives. Motivate yourself to motivate your employees with these success stories!

-  An electronics and process controls company plays “Safety Bingo” every month and they have been accident free for 15 years. “I use them as prizes, sometimes we will have 2 games going at one time like 4 corners and a regular Bingo, so I will give a $50 gift card for the 4 corners. Or I will surprise an employee who I catch using all their PPE (personal protective equipment) correctly.

-  An off-highway vehicle manufacturer uses gift cards “as incentives for Safety (no accident) and also for project team participation gifts”.

-  An engineering and remediation company created a “Spot Bonus plan where managers can reward an employee on the spot for doing a job exceptionally or safely.”

-  A community hospital gives gift card incentives to “staff who use creative ideas in initiating safety activities such as promoting better hand hygiene, and appropriate use of personal  protective equipment for patients in isolation.”

These employers and programs buy their gift cards in bulk to save money on their incentives.

Want to read more Safety Blogs from GCP? Click here for more on safety programs and safety

America’s Most Wanted Incentives & Rewards for Safety Programs

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Using positive reinforcement to promote and reward for workplace safety guideline adherence is not a new concept. But what you choose to reward with can impact your program’s long term success and ROI. Do your employees really want more swag or tchotchkes? Really…not very likely.

But, if employees are offered a choice of gift cards, combined with the choice of what they purchase with those gift cards puts the power of choice in their hands. This power of choice stays in the employee’s memory, and it’s tied in their mind to their employer’s generosity.

It’s not just about what employees want. When employers offer “most wanted incentives” like gift  cards, their likelihood of realizing ROI in the short and long term increases. Offering flexible and coveted rewards offers workplace safety programs repeated adherence to safety precautions and sends the message that the employer cares as much about the employee as the ROI.

Here are a few examples of our typical gift card customers’ workplace safety incentive programs:
-          Measured accident reduction
-          Safety awareness contributions
-          Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) programs
-          Increased productivity rewards
-          Health and wellness programs, tailored to specific job functions
-          Driver safety and incident reduction
-          Training milestones

Check out America’s Most Wanted Gift Card Incentive Choices

Keeping Small Business Employees Satisfied

Monday, February 20th, 2012

According to the 2011 Job Satisfaction and Engagement Research Report,conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management 83% of American employees are satisfied with their jobs. However, only 52% feel engaged at work, and 53% enjoy going above and beyond in their professional role. In order to keep employees feeling engaged and satisfied it is important to both engage their thoughts and opinions to improve your workplace and offer opportunities for training and advancement. Setting up both formal training and informal mentoring sessions keeps employees engaged and feeling as though their employer cares about their career path.

Providing these opportunities for employees is productive, and can be paired well with spot rewards. For employees who achieve goals and milestones that are set in these types of sessions providing small rewards, like an afternoon off or a small denomination gift card goes one step above and beyond the role of the employer. Pairing these two employee engagement techniques allow employees to work toward personal achievements and become more committed to the company as the company allows and rewards them for growth.

Engaging and rewarding your employees will improve not only their commitment to their job and the company but their dedication to their role and their willingness to go above and beyond the employers expectations.


For more information on the SHRM survey or how to engage and incentivize your employees check out this “Small Business Trends” article.

Empowering Employees to Improve their Experience

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

According to WorkSimple 2012 we’ll see a growth in empowerment and engagement of employees. Employers will invest in ensuring their employees are feeling confident and recognized in order to guarantee they are productive and committed to the company and its mission. Here are three simple steps to empowering your employees.

  1. Remove Barriers to Success- Conduct surveys or interviews to find any barriers employees feel bar them from success. These may be policies that were put in place with good intentions but make employees feel limited.
  2. Create a Supportive Culture- Encourage employees to build a supportive workplace together. This should be an activity all areas of the company can be involved in together.
  3. Allow for Trial and Error- not all strategies work, that doesn’t mean they have been a failure. Trying different methods will mean both the employer and employee learn more from the experience.
This list is just the beginning. To learn more check out the full story from Business2Community

Celebrate Healthcare HR Week with Healthy Gift Cards

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

The American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) has designated the week of March 11-17th, 2012 as THE week to recognize HR professionals in hospitals and non-hospital organizations across the US. These professionals deal with difficult issues day in and day out, and they are the backbone of the healthcare workforce.

If you are an HR professional in the healthcare industry, lead the way and reward your colleagues with the gift they can use, like CVS and CVS SelectTM gift cards. It’s the employee gift that goes a long way to help with everyday family healthcare costs. Learn more about Healthcare HR Week!

Attracting and Retaining High Performance Employees

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

86% of businesses use employee recognition programs. Rewards and incentives can spur sales, improve retention and employee loyalty, and raise productivity.

The Incentive Research Foun­­dation (IRF) reports that incentives can attract and retain good employees, boost team performance by as much as 44% and increase individual productivity by an average of 22%.The right kind of recognition program can provide staggering benefits to an organization. In a recent WorldatWork survey 90% 0f businesses indicated that rewards and incentives improved length of service, 79% of respondents indicated rewards incented employees towards “above and beyond” performance, and 43% of respondents indicated that incentives led to peer to peer recognition.

This kind of data reveals that creating programs for employee rewards, recognition and incentives is a small investment that reaps significant returns. Not only keeping employees happy, but creating a work environment where the employee appreciates the company can lead to longer and more prosperous employee employer relationships. Ensuring that these rewards are properly and often communicated from the employer to the employee using different modes of communication such as a company intranet, email, bulletin boards, and the like help to remind employees constantly of the appreciation of the company for their hard work and dedication. Measuring success and gauging satisfaction of recognition and rewards programs is another important way to ensure that as an employer you keep your employees engaged in these programs is important.

Rewards do not have to be big, rewards can range from small spot rewards such as a gift card, and can extend all the way to more valuable incentives like a trip or extra time off.

For more tips on engaging employees in rewards programs that drive performance check out this Business Management Daily article.

Customer Loyalty Points Programs, YOUR Own Way

Monday, February 13th, 2012

There are many 3rd party companies that define, administer and track customer loyalty programs as a service, but there are also many companies that successfully run their own loyalty program in-house. Incentive and loyalty points platforms are utilized to create and maintain customer accrued points, and they include the redemption platform which is loaded with the rewards.

These systems also integrate features like social media, communications tools, survey systems, and special online promotion tools. What do internally-run or independently-run loyalty programs look like? They look much like the ones that loyalty program providers run, and they often include a portfolio of gift cards to choose from when redeeming loyalty points.  Each program has its own attributes for accruing points, some examples are:

*    Simply, dollar to point system
*    Promotions like spend X and get double points
*    Member discounts
*    Retailer partnering, like fuel discounts
*    Additional points for online purchases

Companies that run their own loyalty programs should be sure there are flexible rewards, like gift cards and bulk gift card buyers receive % discounts based on the spend for cards purchased. These programs are an integral piece of a loyalty strategy and they work to help acquire, retain, and reward customers via the accumulation of points. Do you run an internal loyalty program?

Tell us about it here.