Germany’s Wüstenrot Bank has launched a targeted marketing system in which customers receive shopping deals when they log in to their account.
The programme is being piloted for account holders in Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg, who will be sent the tailored offers to their online credit or debit accounts.
Customers click on an offer to accept it, but do not part with their cash until they make a transaction. When shopping with the retailer, customers use their Wüstenrot card and receive a discount in the form of monthly cash payments.
The bank does not charge for retailers to place their deals in customer accounts, but says it would benefit from increased online account activity.
Peter Müller, who is heading the project at Wüstenrot, said the bank has already seen a positive response from customers signed up to the project.
"We are testing the new customer loyalty concept with a pilot project that will offer our participating online banking customers additional benefits," Müller said.
Wüstenrot is testing the scheme on a small number of employees and customers, and says it hopes to roll out the scheme across Germany and to more retail partners.
A consumer survey found 72% of German respondents would be willing to sign up for these card-linked offers, according to the scheme’s developer Red Zebra Analytics.
Attul Sehgal, CEO of Red Zebra Analytics, said the pilot project would benefit customers. "Banks can build closer relationships with their customers by providing them with offers that they actually want," he said.
In a similar marketing move Barclays announced plans to sell customers’ data to other companies from October 2013.
The British bank said the plan to monitor transaction activity, which includes tracking customers through their mobile devices, is intended to better use the information it has on its customers for targeted marketing.
"Barclays can use information about the transactions on your account, to increase our understanding of services and products that you may wish to use so we can send you information about them," the bank explained.
Barclays said the changes would also help to prevent fraud.
Barclays and Wüstenrot insist individual account details never leave the bank, as any money-saving offers are sent to customers directly.