Delivering needed and reliable products and services is not enough anymore. With the current market saturation and over-the-top third-party partnerships enhancing the offer even more, fintech companies are forced by the landscape to search for something extra. This ingredient is called loyalty. By providing actionable insights, your platform can be turned into a lead magnet that combines both fintech and customer incentives.

Loyalty has become a thing in recent years, not only in fintech. Turning users into paying customers is one thing. Making them stay and get them engaged is another. Consumers are getting attached to brands. They are used to features and favorite ways to do things. But as soon as they feel someone does it better, they flee. That’s why implementing loyalty mechanisms in your fintech application is paramount.

Few statistics to get the point across

Did you know that a staggering 68% of consumers feel no loyalty to any of the fintech brands? 26% of responders express distrust towards fintech services, and 38% did not yet engage with fintech companies.

At the same time, 57% of respondents surveyed consider sign-up incentives and loyalty rewards to be influential factors in their choice of fintech service providers, with 19% of consumers more likely to try a fintech product or service if they are offered an incentive or it has an associated loyalty program. At the same time, gift cards stand out as the most universally attractive form of reward across all demographics, with an overwhelming 68% of consumers considering them as an enticing reward or incentive.

These conclusions come from the study called “Bridging the Loyalty Gap: Consumer Insights for Fintech Engagement and Growth” by Tillo. You can download it here. There’s a big potential for consumer education and growth. What companies need to do is to figure out what type of incentive works best for their audience, and how to structure a loyalty program in the first place.

But there’s another dilemma that companies need to face. What type of loyalty model do they want to implement?

What is loyalty in fintech, anyway?

We all know cards, coupons, stars, points, etc. But there is another trend that has emerged. It’s called loyalty-as-a-service (LaaS). The difference between standard loyalty programs and LaaS is that fintech companies utilize LaaS providers to create and manage their loyalty programs. They don’t create, develop, and run them. They act as a supervisor that demands effects. 

Benefits of having a loyalty program in fintech

  1. The major benefit of that approach is a focus on core products and services while having a functional and performing program at the same time. It’s especially important for startups and scaleups that don’t necessarily have the manpower and bandwidth to do everything on their own but want to implement extra features nonetheless.
  1. Another benefit is gathering, processing, and drawing conclusions based on user data. Fintechs have them in spades but having access to enhanced consumer data and analytical models makes the day for many companies out there.
  1. The next one is pretty self-explanatory. Having a loyalty program gets you increased user engagement. They can apply for credit, exchange currency with a fee, buy insurance, etc. They also log in more frequently, getting familiar with and attached to the brand itself.
  1. Successful engagement strategies in FinTech loyalty programs include personalized rewards, interactive features, and smooth user experience. History, spending patterns, and financial goals are important to create a rewards system that satisfies each customer individually. Surveys and progress trackers get people on board and keep them going. Finally, a user-friendly and intuitive approach to UX and UI keeps people visit, even multiple times a day. Get creative!
  1. Driving customer retention is also a thing. According to Podium, acquiring new customers is even seven times more expensive than retaining existing ones. That’s why keeping on board those people you already have is vital for the business. It directly impacts revenue, profitability, and long-term success. Loyal customers will more likely advocate your brand, refer to new customers, provide feedback, and engage with the app.

Basically, there are three customer retention techniques commonly used in fintech: proactive communication, tiered programs, and gamification of services. By breaking down the system into tiers, you ensure constant engagement. By using frequent communication, you make sure that targeted emails notifications and promotion updates get the message across.

  1. Another benefit is increased lifetime customer value (LCV). In other words, it’s the total revenue a business can expect to generate from a single customer over the entire duration of their relationship. 

Companies use user segmentation (based on their value to the business), tiered reward programs and data analytics for personalization.

What do you need to adopt a loyalty program in fintech?

Good news is that there are two basic things you need to have. The other side of the coin is that both of them are critical.

You need:

  • A deep understanding of your customer journey. That will allow you to generate actions connecting customers to the brand. The more information you have, the better. A performing customer loyalty program in fintech needs customized approach and a feedback loop to steer customers towards desired actions.
  • A sufficient IT architecture that allows you to integrate with loyalty platforms.

By combining two sides of the coin, you can make sure that it works. Make sure that you’re going with a reliable partner that can help you develop the business.

What features can you implement in your customer loyalty program?

The following contains a number of features that can be useful while running a fintech loyalty program. Make sure you build a relationship with a customer, not throw in elements that look good on paper and are available in content pieces like this one. After all, everything is based on trust, usability, and value for the customer.

  • Mobile loyalty features. The more people engage with the app, the better chances they… actually do something with it. Buy additional services, spend money on upselling offers, buy things they didn’t necessarily care for in the past, etc. To do that, you need to make sure the app is always there and everything is available on the go. Especially considering geolocalization and integration of third-party offerings, based on the user’s actual positioning. 
  • Tiers for levels of engagement. Implementing a tiered loyalty structure adds a sense of progression and accomplishment. People get more engaged and anticipate rewards, even the journey itself. Naturally, you want that to happen. 
  • Points for activities. Completing onboarding modules, participating in financial education surveys, taking part in referral programs, and spending a given amount of money in a predefined period. All these can be defined as incentives. Not only to spend but also to discover the app and cherry-pick what’s the most useful. Don’t expect people to use everything. Encourage them to use as much as they need.
  • Periodical streaks. Daily, weekly, and monthly events, actions, and promotions encourage habitual usage and and create commitment. This is coming direcly from gaming, especially the mobile version. Players expect incentives to log in daily and publishers/developers expect a decent amount of time spent on the platform. Per user, per game. It’s a win-win situation.
  • Badges, achievements, and other form of personalized accomplishment. Another mechanic is taken strictly from the gaming industry. By unlocking achievements, users feel a certain amount of accomplishment. Completing a financial education module, taking part in monthly “saving competition” with other users, or simply logging in for daily cash flow tracking, help companies tap into their own potential. And monetization options in the long run.
  • Spin-the-wheel and similar mechanics. With the virtual wheel (each segment represents a different reward or incentive) companies can even further strengthen relationships with customers. Other noteworthy mechanics are coupons or incentives inspired by shops like Temu or SHEIN, where users drown with small rewards. Naturally, we are not encouraging money-burning marketing plans. We simply point out what can be done to attract.
  • Perks and rewards to claim. Redeeming rewards is instrumental in fintech loyalty programs. Users should expect fairly easy, low-effort, and low-prize items on the first few tiers. To accommodate them, make them feel valued and taken care of. It works similarly to streaming subscriptions. A small content tank equals a small subscription fee. A pool of content requires double the amount in the first few years. That’s how addiction is created. Same here; you want people to discover benefits and hook them on being loyal in just the first few tiers. 

As you can see, there’s a lot at your disposal. The question is, what do you want to use and when.

Challenges and remedies

There are some pain points that go along with fintech loyalty programs. You want to cultivate lasting customer relationships. These are some of the obstacles:

  • Finding and implementing strategies that work. The problem with loyalty programs is that none of them serve all of them. Meaning that you should create multiple strategies to serve varied customers and behavior patterns. Incentivize various types of behavior, and find technology that supports and rewards only transactional activity.
  • Integration. Fintech software development is not easy. Integrating the product with the market-existing ecosystem is even more complicated. Finding the right partner can save you time-to-market and help you create the outcome you need.
  • Data security regulations. Compliance is one of the most meticulous subjects in the fintech industry. You want to make sure everything is going according to the local regulations. In the era of privacy concerns, massive data leaks, cyber theft cases, and phishing attacks, anything can happen. Security regulations post a significant weight on the team, but there’s no way around them. 

Some remedies:

  • Find an event-based loyalty engine for strategy and performance. Event-based technology lets you assign any type of reaction to various customer actions. That drives desired behaviors, such as profile completion, onboarding actions, or achieving spending levels.
  • Integration comes with API-first technologies. The API-first approach works best for flexible and scalable applications. You can ensure modular architecture and support for pre-integrated rewards. 
  • Find providers that have experience in fintech. It’s that simple. They know what they’re doing. They have the manpower to handle the project and the experience to consult on it. They can serve as your partner, not your provider. And that’s invaluable.

Especially if you can find a company with extra spice. Code & Pepper, for example, has developers that specialize in AI. We hire only 1.6% of developers that apply, making our recruitment process one of the most thought on the market.

Top fintech customer loyalty programs in fintech

You can find multiple fintech loyalty retention strategies. None of that matters if there is no market proof. That’s why we have chosen a few companies that do fintech loyalty right.

utu is a Thai-based fintech for global tax-free shopping. The gamified approach and thought-out process mobilize customers to watch videos, connect credit or debit cards with the mobile app, and even participate in running competitions.

KornChain is a London-based company. The firm connects loyalty programs globally so that consumers can collect points from a business at one location and are able to redeem them anywhere around the world, or even choose to gift or donate their points, in real time.

boogi is a London-based company. It gives businesses the tools to boost revenue through loyalty and incentives. Powered by open banking, customer tracking, and automated marketing tools generates increased footfall and frequency of visits.


Data and reports… We all love data and reports, right? So how about that:

  • 70% of Brits are members of at least one program and on average a member of four programs
  • According to TrueList, the number of purchases needed to establish brand loyalty differs between more than three and more than five purchases

Conclusions? You need to incentivize users. Give them reasons to stay. Attract with a loyalty program but fill the app with features clients love and stay for them in the long run. Don’t turn loyalty into a fetish, but rather treat it as a necessary and well-established marketing vehicle.

Choose the right technology to create your app and gather paying customers. All you need is love… for the right solutions.