Cadence Bank converts to new signature debit program

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Updated: 4/24/2013 9:03 am
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WTVA) -- In an effort to help its clients better manage and more effectively spend their money, Cadence Bank is actively converting existing clients to the new Cadence Bank Debit Card, powered by Discover® Debit.

Cadence’s new debit program offers an enhanced cardholder experience with 24/7 concierge service, lowest purchase price guarantee and fraud protection, as well as a program in which local merchants can participate. For the bank, the new debit rewards program is designed to reduce costs, generate revenue and build customer loyalty.

“Payment options have evolved tremendously over the past several years in response to customer needs, and they are continuing to do so,” said Debbie Innes, executive vice president of Retail Banking for Cadence. “Our new debit program not only brings relevant solutions to clients today, but promises to keep pace with their continually changing needs as new technologies are adopted and as regulations empower us to think creatively.”

In the face of increased federal legislation that went into effect in 2011, many U.S. banks discontinued their debit rewards programs. In response, forward-thinking financial institutions like Cadence Bank sought creative ways to provide value to customers while simultaneously producing new revenue streams.

Cadence, capitalizing on a growing trend in merchant funded reforms, now offers Buzz Points™, promising a win-win-win solution for its customers, local merchants and the bank itself. More than a loyalty and rewards program, Buzz Points encourages a shop-local movement by uniting consumers, locally owned businesses and financial institutions to support local economies.

“This program brings meaningful offers to our customers while helping local merchants grow their businesses,” said Rick Claypoole, director of retail product management and marketing for Cadence. “As a regional bank deeply committed to the communities in which we operate, we fully support buy-local efforts and the stimulus these bring to local economies.”

Here’s how the program works. Local businesses join the program as Buzz Points Merchants and have the opportunity to offer bonus points, eLoyalty cards and gift card rewards to Buzz Points users to incentivize repeat visits. Through a variety of turn-key, highly targeted marketing activities, including email campaigns, social media integration, and increased web and mobile presence, Buzz Points connects these merchants to the users, providing users with valuable money-saving opportunities and merchants with increased exposure to key local audiences.

On average, Buzz Points consumers increase their local spending with participating Buzz Merchants by 35 percent, and have three times more confidence in local merchants than Big Box competitors, both according to a study commissioned by Buzz Points. The study further reported that 52 percent of money spent with local merchants stays in the local economy, compared to 14 percent with Big Box merchants.

The Buzz Points program, provided through fisoc and PULSE, offers consumers a richer rewards experience through more targeted offerings. Once enrolled in Buzz Points, accumulated points are automatically credited to an account and can be redeemed easily through the Buzz Points interface for gift cards from a wide variety of local businesses. The program is available at no additional charge to Cadence customers with a checking account and debit card. Customer data is not shared with third-party retailers.

Cadence’s new debit program features a consumer debit card, exclusive private banking debit card with higher daily limits, no ATM fees and rebates on foreign ATM fees, as well as a business debit card that provides Attorney On Call and Human Resource consultancy services in addition to concierge service and other benefits.

The new program was announced in January 2013, following a successful pilot among employees. Issuance of the new Cadence Bank Debit Card to all of the bank’s debit cardholders will conclude in early May 2013. Cadence is the largest bank in the U.S. to align with Discover on a debit program. After a complete evaluation of debit options, Discover was selected in large part based on its shared commitment to bring innovative payment solutions to clients that align with their evolving needs.
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