The Future of Loyalty - SAS EuroBonus and the Power of Open Banking

In the dynamic realm of customer loyalty programs, SAS EuroBonus is leading the way to a more personalized and insightful future. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Madeleine Svantesson, Head of EuroBonus Partners, in a fireside chat hosted by Sarah Häger, CCO at Enable Banking, at the Nordic Fintech Summit. Madeleine shares her experiences and insights into how SAS EuroBonus, the largest loyalty program in Scandinavia, is leveraging Open Banking to enhance member engagement and drive business growth.

TL;DR

Madeleine Svantesson, Head of SAS EuroBonus Partners, discusses their highly engaged loyalty program, the impact of successful partnerships, and exciting new ventures in Open Banking. By leveraging personalized data, SAS EuroBonus aims to offer more relevant offers and insights into customer preferences. They are developing a credit card recommendation tool to help customers maximize rewards. This conversation sheds light on future opportunities in the fintech space and how SAS EuroBonus plans to enhance member experiences and business growth. Dive in to discover the full potential of these innovations!

User-Case: Open Banking and SAS Eurobonus

Sarah: Hi and welcome.

Madeleine: Hi, thank you. Great to be here.

Sarah: It's fantastic. Although we are in Finland right now, tell us a bit more about SAS and EuroBonus, and what you're doing with SAS and EuroBonus.

Madeleine: I will. Even if we are in Finnair-land right now, I do think you know about EuroBonus, the Loyalty program of SAS and the largest loyalty program in Scandinavia. We have close to 8 million members, with the majority in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

I would like to start by bragging a little because we can proudly say that we have some of the most engaged loyalty members out there. People are super engaged in our program; they are discussing in various forums online, going on trips together, and always looking for ways to optimise their point earnings and reach the next tier level. They are really good at finding all the loopholes in the program, but we're also super happy about that.

When we do EuroBonus events, the tickets sell out in just a few minutes. Last year, for example, we launched a new partnership with the insurance company Hedvig, and it was a real success. After the event, we looked at the numbers and what insurance people were signing up for. We found lots of people signing up for pet insurance for their cat “Tusse,” which made us wonder if the pets even existed. People are really eager to get their 10,000 EuroBonus points.

It really is about travelling, rewards,  and that dream award ticket to Tokyo, New York, or Bali, even in business class—tickets that can't really be bought for money unless you're very, very rich. It’s interesting how engaged people are.

On the partnership side, our purpose is to drive revenue to EuroBonus and SAS with different types of partnerships. But it's also about activating our members. We want to be a part of our members' daily lives, even when they are not travelling. Our co-branded credit cards are a good example of that, as people interact with EuroBonus every day. 

We sell EuroBonus points to partners, and we know these points drive customer behaviour. We know this helps our members choose one company over another. We know these points influence their choices in insurance, car rentals, and even home food delivery. I saw that Wolt was in the building today, and they are a great partner to us. 

So, coming from this perspective and taking it into Open Banking, it is really interesting to see how we can better follow up on our customers' behaviour and grow our partners' businesses.

Sarah: And now you are looking into Open Banking to get personalised data and that is what you are seeing up here behind us, a pre-launch of something that doesn’t exist just quite yet. It's a possibility to showcase transparently in a hyper-personalised way, how far your spending could take you. 

Madeleine: Exactly! We've had really cool conversations with you and your team and see such big potential in this area. First of all, we will get a much better understanding of our customers—how they behave, what destinations they prefer, and what brands they interact with. We don’t really have this type of data today. We know what our customers are doing in the SAS environment and we know what partners they interact with, but we don’t see the whole picture and cannot see the whole share of wallet. It is a world of opportunities that Open Banking opens up.

Sarah: What are your favourite future opportunities?

Madeleine: Our members will receive more relevant offers, and we will identify partners among the companies they interact with today. We will be able to see if they prefer Scandic or Radisson, or even Hertz compared to Avis. This is great information for us to have, as it adds a layer of intelligence we don't have today.

Talking about our co-branded credit cards, our partnerships with American Express, SEB Kort, and MasterCard are essential. They bring revenue and activate our members, creating very loyal members. So, when discussing opportunities in Open Banking, we explored many different possibilities. We wanted something that combines bringing a great service to our customers and also bringing business value in terms of revenue to SAS and EuroBonus. In the end, we decided to build a credit card recommendation tool. As we have five credit cards, people often reach out and ask which card suits them best, considering how much they spend and travel.

So, this is what we are building here (a credit card recommendation tool). This design is not yet launched, so we are super curious to see how this will work out. The tool lets customers sign in with their bank ID to access their spending data. It will then give them a few options and recommend a credit card. It will show how many points their spending would earn, translating points into actual rewards. This helps us recommend the best card to the customer and drive conversion when it comes to credit cards.

Sarah: So, does this mean that when I have the SAS Eurobonus card, I can go in and log my additional credit cards and see how many points I am missing out on?

Madeleine: Exactly. It provides a complete picture and can be useful not only for new customers but also for those considering an upgrade. You can use it to see how many additional points you will receive. 

Sarah: I look forward to it. 

Madeleine: We’re really happy to be entering the fintech space here, there are so many opportunities. 

Sarah: When do you expect this to be available in real life? 

Madeleine: What do I dare say? We are doing a bit of a switch of alliance, which is keeping our development team busy. But right now I believe that this will be out before summer. 

Sarah: As we are in Finnair-land will we get any pointers of a reverse status match?

Madeleine: Maybe. This is not impossible.

Sarah: So, this is the first step for SAS and EuroBonus to tap into the fintech world with Open Banking. In a few years, open finance will provide even more data with regulations like FIDA being implemented. FIDA will expand Open Banking to other types of data, such as insurance, lending, savings, investments and even crypto funds. 

So, you could offer complimentary insurance services based on their travel bookings or even make recommendations based on what existing insurance people have? Or when looking at savings, it would be possible to set up programs to co-save for trips to invest to save for that long-awaited trip to New York in business class. 

Madeleine: Yes, and more. There are great opportunities in this space as well, and we’re always looking to grow our travel extras business.

Sarah: Fantastic. With that, we'll wrap up this session. Thank you for joining me on stage, Madeleine. It's been a pleasure. I look forward to bringing this into our web pages together.

Madeleine: So, look into this in a month or so and sign up for a credit card. Thank you very much.

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