The incentive industry is rapidly changing, catching up with society’s mobile and digital consumer habits. Online incentive programs can now offer a multitude of travel, event, and merchandise options. Many companies still want debit card programs, however, because they combine flexibility with their various strengths. For instance, Atlanta-based incentive company Incentive Solutions was founded in 1994 with debit card programs as one of the early focuses of their incentives strategy. Although the company has since broadened their approach with a successful online rewards platform, the advantages of debit card rewards over cash are still significant.
Distinction from Cash
Cash bonuses alone can sometimes seem routine, like an expected part of one’s salary. After receiving a $500 bonus one year, a salesperson may count on receiving the same amount the following year and be disappointed by a lesser bonus amount, or none at all. Debit cards have the benefit of being unaffiliated with salary. They feel more like a perk because they’re a separate, physical entity that can be reloaded as goals are met.
A Company-Branded Connection
Companies like Incentive Solutions offer clients the option of branded debit cards along with registration into their debit card programs. This means that every participant in a company’s rewards program can receive a card branded with that company’s logo. Incentive Solutions’ Director of Operations, Amber Johnson, says that clients enjoy cards printed with their company logos “because they’re getting brand recognition in the wallet.” Not only does the brand reinforce the reward participant’s sense of attachment to their company, but gratification comes along with that attachment. Every time employees use their cards, it’s a reminder of the success for which their company showed appreciation.
Incentive Solutions also offers the option of adding employee performance tracking along with all of their reward programs. With Incentive Solutions’ incentive technology, clients can add on a Performance Tracking feature to set goals or arrange specific promotions for salespeople. For instance, companies can set up a promotion specifically for sales channel distributors to increase sales. Clients control all parameters of goal-setting (such as duration and eligibility). They can also decide when and how much reward funds to distribute to participants’ debit cards. With reports from the Performance Tracking feature, clients can determine which employees are hitting target behaviors or entering the most sales claims.
Debit card incentives offer a versatility that other rewards lack. Branded debit cards carry a lasting impression compared to the impersonal and fleeting nature of cash bonuses or checks, but debit card programs don’t sacrifice much of the all-use power that makes cash a classically appealing bonus. With debit card programs like Incentive Solutions’, debit cards can be used anywhere VISA is accepted. According to Amber Johnson, “Debit cards provide the flexibility to either buy those items that do have great trophy value, or spend the rewards on more practical purchases.”
Although debit cards are an older and less exciting form of incentive rewards, they remain an attractive incentive program option with strong advantages. Debit cards programs are even more effective when presented on online and mobile platforms for even easier, faster access. Some incentive companies can offer branded debit cards, which promote positive associations with the company providing rewards. On top of these perks, debit cards are nearly as flexible as cash, making them appealing those incentive program participants who may be more practical spenders.