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Blackhawk Network – Trends and Insights from Intersekt Festival 2022

Blackhawk Network was a proud Bronze Sponsor of Intersekt Festival, run by Fintech Australia on the 7th-8th of September 2022.

Intersekt is the largest gathering of Australian Fintechs, hubs, accelerators, policymakers, regulators, investors and advisors, devoted to examining, discussing and unlocking the potential of Australia’s Fintech market.

On Day 1 of this most thought-provoking conference in the region, Blackhawk Network hosted our very own Round Table Panel Session – Customer Acquisition and Retention Best Practices for Aussie Fintechs.

While the fintech space has its own share of obstacles and complications, customer acquisition and retention is perhaps the biggest common challenge for all fintech brands. Fintechs today leverage the online and digital world to facilitate market entry, scalability and acquisition.

However, the same digital platforms which rapidly onboard and scale customers, allow them to switch to other providers in the blink of an eye.

Take a look at the high-level key outtakes from the 2 days of Intersekt below, including highlights from Blackhawk’s Round Table session.

Key Out-takes:

  • Customer Acquisition and Retention Best Practices for Aussie Fintechs. Will Feutrill – Regional Vice President, Incentives at Blackhawk Network, Fleur Garcia – Head of Merchant Engagement & Strategy at Till Payments and Liya Dashinka – Head of Investor Relations and Investment Operations at Reinventure Group.
    • Every Fintech company works differently and has very different acquisition journeys and sales cycles. In B2B industries, the acquisition journey and sales cycles are much longer whilst B2C sales cycle is much shorter (think of quick wins for acquisition campaigns: Social media, Demand Generation ie Adwords). There is one common thing – you need to know who your end customer is, the more you know who your customer is and appeal to them. The better off you’re going to be when you look at cost-to-acquisition metrics.
    • Understanding your customer, understanding personalization on a mass scale, is where you start to get scale and start to get benefits. If your customer acquisition strategy is hinging on Google Ads and FB, it’s a race to the bottom, everyone is doing it. One key focus driver business should focus on building is relationships and partnerships. Our industry is a murid of frenemies. Everyone competes in some way, shape or form.
    • It comes down to being able to create an environment where there is trust. Another tip is to focus on your big fish. Who’s your pillar merchant, who’s going to hold some sway? When entering a new market or vertical, one needs to meet needs and get influence in vertical. You should learn to leverage the network to gain your pillar customers.


  • The Rise of NFTs and The Metaverse by ANZ Worldline. Anne McDonnell and Carl Walsh, ANZ Worldline Payment Solutions – Gartner predicts 25% of people around the world will spend 1 hour a day in the Metaverse by 2026. Worldline is working with hundreds of clients around the world to test out their metaverse online experience for their customers. In countries across Europe, customers can now pay in the Metaverse with Bitcoin and real time payments. We have seen a shift and slight decline in ecommerce since the pandemic in 2020 with more customers now preferring an omnicommerce shopping experience (Online, In-store and a hybrid experience through Virtual Reality). Blackhawk Network recently conducted research with NAPCO, confirming this trend. Shoppers more than ever, are open to a hybrid of shopping both online and in-store for their purchases, you can access the research here. In Australia, ANZ Worldline partnered with Naked Life Beverages to build a Metaverse Commerce solution that helped them explore the opportunities and potential of Decentraland as a platform to reach new customers, and connect and engage with their target audience. This was an exciting opportunity to trial a new engagement channel to drive brand awareness through to intent to purchase.


  • Loyalty in fintech: gifts and more by Ms Rochelle Eldridge: GM Shopping at CBA, Ms Clare Kinsey: Co-founder & CEO at Karta, Ms Debra Taylor: Founder and COO at OpenSparkz and Mr Chris Titley: Director at Sub11 – Customers are not interested in Generic Marketing EDMs, their expectation has elevated to: “Show me that you know me”. The objective is to work closely with brands and understand what their customers demand from them and offer personalised solutions. The offerings have to go beyond transactional means and evoke actual emotion among users to create lasting impressions and increase customer life cycle within loyalty programs. Another avenue to increase reward longevity and customer retention is creating products that reward its customers the longer they are within the program. For example, offering rewards such as $50 for 2 years, $100 for 5 years, $150 for 10+ years, etc.


  • The real value in Payments by Mrs Carolyn Breeze: Chief Commercial Officer at Zepto, Mr Damir Cuca: CEO & Founder at Basiq, Ms Samantha O’Brien: Partner at DLA Piper Australia and Ms Katrina Stuart: Managing Director, NPPA Australian Payments Plus – The future of payments is evolving from a service offering into an assisted living with features such as pay as you use based on innovations of intelligent systems that provide real-time benefits with data-driven processes providing meaningful insights to help consumers make informed and better financial decisions. Another key talking point was around bringing context into payments for consumers with the objective of easing customer distrust and improving experiences with systems. This is also beneficial from a data, fraud and security perspective that can make payment processes efficient while also providing the perfect balance between customer experience and security. The first step towards this future is overcoming security concerns and understanding the value of data. Authorisations and consent should underpin the data exchange process, adopt innovations like Paytoo that can help control agreements while providing convenience to customers and constantly educating customers by giving them visibility over their data and payments.


  • Evolving trends in consumer finance: hyper-personalisation and card programs in lending by Mr Duncan Currie: Country Manager at Marqeta, Mrs Natalie Drummond: Head of Customer Success at Mambu and Ms Melissa Mack: Director at Silkie Communications – A key trend within consumer finance has to be the rise of the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platforms and digitisation of our contact lists. Australia has one of the highest of the BNPL platform at 24% compared to the global average of 11%. Since the adoption of new tech in Australia is high, there is potential for innovation around tools and data that help consumers with real time monitoring and visibility, ensuring tech parity and moving towards optimising for customers. A key contributor will be ensuring digital transformation and tech teams are aligned and working towards the same goal. The future is around BNPL and having sound regulations in place that will help create a sustainable process to bridge Bank’s credit cards with BNPL companies. The next best innovations will also emerge out of push from consumers around demand, choice and platform.


Blackhawk Network partners with clients across the Loyalty space to increase reach, engagement and drive long-term growth across Acquisition and Retention solutions through our Rewards and Incentives technology. With a wide catalogue of Digital Reward Gift Cards and countless brands, we can get a Rewards Program solution up and running, scalable to fit any business size.

For more information about our solutions, feel free to reach out to our team to learn more about our solutions here or contact us at 1300 883 667.

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