A new loyalty card, which will offer students one pence for every pound they spend, is going on trial in the Union.Two versions of the card are being piloted to test which reward system shoppers prefer.
One scheme will be a points- based system in which for every pound spent in the Union, students receive 1 pence-worth of loyalty points. The other scheme will involve members opting in to receive a series of offers and discounts at the shops, bars and venues.
A second-year Broadcast Journalism student expressed his opinion on the card: “Getting 1 per cent back isn’t a huge bonus to me personally – it’s almost an insult”, but added, “I think it’ll be a good way of encouraging people to spend more of their money in the Union.”
Union Affairs Officer Antony Haddley, who promised a loyalty card when he ran to be elected, has previously voiced his concerns about a ‘pounds = points’ system. In a blog post, he wrote that the concept of a point system would not be workable in an organisation the size of the Union, and described the risk associated with an “unexpected ‘cashing-in’ of points in a single week”.
However, Haddley has now said: “It’s great to see us getting the ball rolling on loyalty. The demand for this from students has been loud and clear for quite some time.” The Union is looking for 2,013 volunteers to trial the two systems to distinguish which version they think is better. The idea for the loyalty card was put forward at a Better Union Forum by a student in 2010.
The Union loyalty points would be worth slightly less than Sainsbury’s Nectar points where 1 point is worth 0.5p.
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Words: Ellie Parkes