Former Account Director at Cardlytics
Michael is the former Account Director at Cardlytics where he was responsible for managing both Santander and Lloyds. He was working with the banks on improving the UI, marketing the service with the banks, and managing the overall relationship to deliver value to FI’s. Michael was also involved in developing and pitching the Open Banking products to UK banks in 2019.Read moreView Profile Page
In Practise Notes
- The first banks that CDLX sign in a market have favourable terms and given the consolidated structure of banking, it's unclear how much leverage CDLX have to improve FI share paid to banks.
- Being a top priority for the bank is the biggest challenge for CDLX
- It seems like CDLX has a data advantage from the OSP integration with banks although it's not clear how open banking reduces this advantage over time.
- Open Banking risks and opportunities for CDLX and banks
- CDLX potential advantages in an open banking world
- Interesting insight into how the banks look at FI share and the cost-benefit trade off using CDLX.
Disclaimer: This interview is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions. In Practise is an independent publisher and all opinions expressed by guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of In Practise.
Michael, can we have a short introduction to your role and responsibilities when you were at Cardlytics?
I was the account director, primarily working on the Santander account, but also with the other account directors, on many projects which impacted other banks. I also worked with some of the challenger banks they were looking to onboard at that time and some of the projects and startups in that space. My main role, outside of the relationship management with the bank, was around bringing on new products, ideas and revenue generating projects. I also looked at introducing new merchants and new ways of creating rewards, but also getting the banks to improve their rewards programs. I drove them to develop their U/I and U/X to the next generation of the program.
When Cardlytics tried to onboard or adopt a new bank, which person or team did they target within the bank?
That depends on the bank or the relationship and with any institutional sales, you are looking for a warm introduction. The more senior the better, so before we identify the team or person – and generally it is on the retail or tech side – you want someone at a senior level who either the company knows someone has a good relationship with or there is some way you can leverage that relationship. Generally speaking, you are looking for a head of retail bank or someone in the digital loyalty space. At Santander, it was slightly further up the chain. The higher up that corporate or exec sponsor is, the easier the onboarding process is.
Is it that strategic that it ever reaches the C-suite?
Is the CEO involved in driving adoption at the bank?
Yes, and it is really important when pitching the value of Cardlytics, that you find the exec sponsor. It is about landing that initial meeting or pitch with them, having that discussion and, once again, how warm that relationship is drives this, but then aligning the program or what Cardlytics can offer to their goals or targets. That is easy to do in a large corporation like that, because ultimately a bank wants sticky customers because that is how they drive revenue out of the customer. The head of customer loyalty or retail banking will be targeting on the number of accounts and products. The reward platform is almost seen as another product that the customer has, so it is easy to align with those goals, but it does get up to that C-suite level.
How did you pitch the value proposition of Cardlytics?
It is personalized loyalty in a digital age and loyalty programs are a dime a dozen. You can no longer walk into a bank branch and speak to your bank manager who knows your name and there is a warm fuzzy feeling. It simply does not happen because there are too many banks, too many people and too much going on. Cardlytics gives your customers a personalized experience based on their spend habits, which is a compelling proposition to a banker. It means their customer will get that experience where they think Santander or Lloyds know them and give them the stuff they want. That is the sales pitch.
Beyond that, depending on the size of the bank and where the sales process is at or where Cardlytics has penetration in the market, the second piece is that we offer this for free. There will be a revenue split and you will make money off this, so not only will you get more loyalty out of your customers, there will be a revenue stream on the other side. It almost sounds too good to be true.