mThink-SurveyIf financial service providers want to effectively reach key audiences through affiliates, they need to know what consumers are looking for and what they value most.  

The Financial Affiliate & Consumer Trends Report 2022 from Rakuten Advertising reveals some of the critical components of successful financial services promotions based on survey data from 1,000 consumers who answered what type of offers they desired most. Here are some of the key insights from the report:

Cashback is King

When consumers are picking their next credit card, perks and benefits weigh heavily into their decision. According to the survey, cashback bonuses were the most desirable reward type, with 68% of respondents putting this perk at the top of their list. Loyalty points followed close behind, with 45% of respondents naming it their second-most desired benefit. 

Rakuten Advertising says this demonstrates how the marketplace has changed. While offers like airline miles and hotel points used to be the main benefit that drove card choice, cashback has taken the throne as earning and redemption requirements for points become more complex.  

Points-based offers now appeal primarily to consumers making over $100K, since increased point requirements makes it more difficult for moderate spenders to rack up the necessary points for the rewards they want.  

Desired Perks Vary by Generation

When consumers consider financial services and offers, certain perks appeal more to different generations. Older generations said welcome bonuses are the most valuable perk, while younger generations looked for benefits such as gym and transportation discounts. 

Because of these differences, aligning the right offers with the right audience is essential as financial service companies develop their affiliate programs. 

 “Target considerations play a significant role in defining the right portfolio of publishers and other partners for each brand,” said Beth Benedict, SVP of Client Service for Finance at Rakuten Advertising, “Many of our clients have implemented segmented messages and offers tied to the audience characteristics of specific partner classes and even publishers.”

Go Beyond Just Offers

Consumers consider more than just card offers or perks when picking a financial service provider, and these non-promotional benefits can play a big role in their decision. 

For example, 59% of consumers said mobile finance apps are an important offering when choosing a new bank or payment provider. Good customer service was also listed as one of their top considerations. 

Due to fears of data breaches, identity theft, and other security concerns, privacy and security safeguards at every step of the customer journey are paramount. Consistent brand messaging surrounding security can help reassure and interest customers. 

The consumers in the survey also showed interest in connecting with brands through quality direct communications from or about financial service providers, whether through email, direct mail, or social media. 

This goes to show that going beyond special offers or rewards in affiliate messaging is important in driving greater consideration and choice.

Prioritize Compliance

If financial services companies want to see real affiliate success, they also need to ensure that all their publishers and partners can meet rigorous anti-fraud and compliance standards. Complying with national and international regulations requires constant monitoring, anti-fraud technology, and careful attention when updating messaging and offers. As an affiliate partner for many financial companies and fintech businesses, Rakuten Advertising ensures these essential protections are prioritized to help companies avoid regulatory infractions and to deliver consistent customer experiences that earn trust.

For more insights and data from the survey, you can access the full report here.