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Charity Through Reward Points Is The Way Forward: Brian Almeida
Brian Almeida, Co-founder, Points for People talks about the system of reward points that can revolutionize donations for charities and create a sustainable society. The initiative is known as Points for People
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In association with Social Access and Tata Trust, Brian Almeida, co-founder, Points for People initiates “Points for People”, a charitable cause that creates less stress on the donor while providing a charity. The points earned through various credit card transactions and reward points can be used to help the society improve conditions and create a sustainable environment. In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, he talks about this initiative in detail and the impact it can create.
How do reward points contribute for a good cause?
Reward points are points earned by members of loyalty programs like credit card loyalty programs of banks, frequent flyer programs, frequent guests programs and frequent shopper programs, through their consumption of products and services, these points can be redeemed by members for rewards such as holidays, free flights, white goods and other items, our offer to members is that they donate some of these points to make a difference to society.
What was the initiative behind points for people?
The Points for People is an initiative of the Tata Trusts to help society become more self-sustaining and involve members of programs to donate loyalty points for a good cause. There is no Reward more satisfying than knowing that they have been used to make someone’s life better, whether it is providing education or digital skills to the girl child, or providing hygienic living conditions to families or other initiatives, members get a great feeling of self-gratification knowing that their points have helped make a difference.
We have also tied up with many employee programs as well to allow employees of organisations to their incentives or even from their salaries.
The Tata Trust is over a century old charitable trusts that has projects across the country and across various initiatives, you can read more about the Tata Trust at www.tatatrust.org
How does an individual earn points in order to donate?
Members earn points when they purchase products and services of the program owner, sometimes these are credit card points and using their credit card for purchase of products and services earn points that members can use, Frequent flyer program members earn miles when they fly the airline and frequent guest and frequent shopping programs offer members points for using their hotels or buying from their stores. Loyalty programs are designed to keep members loyal to the brand, and when they earn points they keep using the product and service to earn more points which they can then use to redeem reward items.
Will this initiative change the donation system?
Our intent is to help make it as easy for individuals to make a donation by reducing the inertia. We are sure it will help increase the involvement of many more individuals in donating to charity, this will happen because the process is very easy and seamless and the members just need to redeem their points online and indicate that these points can be donated to ‘Points for People’ which is an item on the reward catalogue.
How successful has the initiative in and where do you see it in 5 years?
We have just launched the initiative and we are getting a great response from programs to register their programs with ‘Points for People’ and enable their members to donate to the ‘ Points for People’ initiative – An initiative of the Tata Trust. We have already tied up with over 20 banks and are tying up many more. Please see www.pointsforpeople.org
Our intent is to make it a global platform and to have as many banks possible, retail shopping chain, airlines, hotels and restaurants to enroll their programs with ‘Points for People’. This will help mobilize large numbers of individuals to donate and contribute towards a better society. Today there are approximately 250m members of various loyalty programs in the country, our target is to get 5m members in 5 years to donate at least once.
We will build connectivity through program partners and even offer a mobile solution for donations.
Are there any targets you are trying to achieve during the festive seasons?
There are no targets for this festive season being the first, however with most leading brands offering members an opportunity to earn 3X the number of points for shopping we are hoping that there will also be an increased urge to redeem their points and donate as well.