The ATH Rewards program that EVERTEC Inc. and the ATH Network will kick off Friday on Facebook packs a double wallop: it’s a tool for Puerto Rico merchants to grow their business and helps consumers save money through special offers and product discounts.
In making the announcement, EVERTEC officials emphasized that the program, which is free of cost to merchants and participants, is geared to small and mid-sized businesses looking to expand their customer base and increase their sales. It also gives small retailers without an advertising agency an opportunity to promote themselves.
So far, more than 90 businesses from around the island have signed up to be part of the initiative.
The rewards program integrates the popularity of Facebook with the accessibility of mobile phones, of which there are 3.1 million in Puerto Rico, based on a 2012 Sales & Marketing Executives Association study that also identified Facebook as the island’s favorite social media outlet.
To take advantage of the reward offers, consumers must sign up to the ATH Network fan page on Facebook and pay their purchases via mobile phones using the ATH debit card and PIN of any bank or credit union affiliated to the ATH network.
Created in 2010, the ATH Network Facebook page already has more than 186,000 fans and keeps growing, said Wanda Betancourt, EVERTEC senior vice president of marketing and communications.
To publicize the rewards program, EVERTEC is opening it up to everyone with an ATH debit card and PIN on the weekend of Nov. 15-17. It is estimated that there are more than 2 million ATH debit cards actively in use in Puerto Rico, according to EVERTEC.
“During that weekend the consumer gets discounts without having to be part of the ATH Rewards program and we help businesses to move their inventory before the Black Friday sales,” Betancourt said.
And to make sure that everyone knows about this special opportunity, EVERTEC is investing $250,000 in a two-week advertising splash on TV, radio, press, digital media and outdoors.
The ATH Rewards program platform is two pronged. It includes a website where merchants can register and upload their deals and a mobile application that consumers use to redeem and pay for their purchases. The application is accessed through Facebook and will be available for iOS and Android.EVERTEC Vice President Miguel Vizcarrondo
ATH Network fans will be able to see offers posted on their wall. If they like one, a click on the link will lead them to the application where, on the first visit, they must register with their Facebook credentials to see all available offers.
Offers that consumers like will be sent to the “My Rewards” section within the application. To redeem, they can enter the application through www.ATHrewards.com or the ATH Network Facebook page.
Merchants are required a minimum of 10 articles for each product offer and product discounts must be at least 20 percent or more. Offers will be available for a period of three to seven days, the idea being to create “a sense of urgency” among consumers that they need to act quickly or they will lose out on the deal, said EVERTEC Vice President Miguel Vizcarrondo. The short redemption period also enables merchants to assess, which products move faster.
EVERTEC, is the leading full-service transaction processing business in Latin America and the Caribbean. Based in Puerto Rico, it provides a broad range of merchant acquiring, payment, processing and business process management services in 19 countries. The company, which went public in early April, last year reported adjusted net income of $84.4 million on total revenue of $341.7 million.