Pointpathbank Moves Into BTB Market With Incentive Card

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Pointpathbank will debut its first business-to-business campaign next week for its Pointpath Incentive card, which it introduced yesterday.

The card is targeted to Fortune 1,000 corporations looking to offer their employees incentive or rewards programs. Corporations may offer employees an open-ended Visa-branded card that can be used anywhere that accepts Visa, or they can offer a card that can only be used at merchants that have agreements with Pointpathbank to accept the card.

"A corporation might give objectives to its sales force, and as individuals achieve them they are given earnings or value on the card," said William Midgely, corporate incentives manager at Pointpathbank, Columbus, GA. "Typically companies offer employees a gift certificate at one store or the opportunity to select items from a catalog, limiting them."

Corporations often turn to incentive programs during slow economic periods to provide their best employees with a sense of encouragement and security, Midgely said.

"They don't want to pull back and show a vote of non-confidence," he said.

Pointpathbank will not distribute the card directly to companies but will work with incentive management and motivational companies. The incentive companies will in turn offer the cards to their large corporate clients. Midgely said he hopes to have 200 companies signed up by the end of the year.

"The incentive market is a pretty tight-knit group, so the word should get out rather quickly," Midgely said.

Three hundred direct mail pieces and e-mail messages go out to incentive companies next week. Midgely noted that the companies consist of business contacts he has personally gathered through one-on-one networking.

The direct mail and e-mail pieces will detail the system's features and will direct incentive management companies to visit the Pointpath Incentive card area of Pointpathbank's site.

Pointpathbank also will run ads this month in trade magazines, including Potentials Magazine and Incentive Magazine.

The card can be customized to display a specific design, program name and company logo. Midgely said that while the card will be used primarily by large corporations, there is no minimum number of employees to qualify for the program.

Cardholders can check their card balances at co-branded Pointpathbank Web sites. The maximum single deposit an employer can make into a card is $10,000, Midgely said. There is no set minimum deposit.

Pointpathbank will charge its incentive management distribution partners a fee for production of each card, a per-activation fee and a monthly maintenance fee, Midgely said, declining to disclose prices. He added that the incentive management companies will pass on a portion of these fees to the corporations. The card will be free to the employee end-users.

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