Magazine article American Banker

Pooling Service from MC Finds Taker: Fifth Third

Magazine article American Banker

Pooling Service from MC Finds Taker: Fifth Third

Article excerpt

MasterCard Inc.'s advisory unit is promoting a service that it says lets banks reward consumers for using a variety of financial products and services, not just payment cards.

The Purchase, N.Y., company will announce today that Fifth Third Bancorp has been using the service to pool rewards points earned by its customers on credit and debit cards.

Mark Shipley, the global practice leader for loyalty solutions at MasterCard Advisors, said the service incorporates technology that can integrate several banking products, such as brokerage services, mortgages, and savings and checking accounts.

(In recent years a few banking companies, including Citigroup Inc. and National City Corp., have tied rewards programs to the number of accounts a customer opens.)

"We're not just card-driven," Mr. Shipley said. "The decision that MasterCard made when it went public a year and half ago was being at the heart of commerce, being at the center of all payment forms."

As consumers demand richer rewards, financial services companies can use the MasterCard service to cross-sell other products and deepen customer relationships, he said. "Those people who have business spread across different places are recognizing that they can pull all their business into one location and really benefit from that."

Jon Groch, the senior vice president of Fifth Third's card division, said it is using the MasterCard service to ease the "clutter" of rewards programs for consumers and to solidify relationships with them.

A simplified rewards program tied to several products at the same company is good for loyalty and cross-selling, he said.

53PointShare, which the Cincinnati banking company began in the second quarter, combines the one point earned for every $3 spent on a signature debit card with the one point for every $1 spent with a MasterCard Platinum Rewards or a World MasterCard credit card. …

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