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About Warba Bank

Warba Bank KSC is a Sharia compliant bank based in Kuwait with a vision to become the leading digital-first Islamic corporate and retail bank in the country. It strives to provide innovative financial solutions and outstanding digital experiences to help customers fulfill their life ambitions. The bank was founded in 2010, and now operates in 13 branches with an array of retail, corporate, and investment products. In a short period, the bank managed to position itself as a leader in Islamic Digital Retail Solutions in the banking sector.

Project summary

The bank’s loyalty program operates under the name Pocket. It’s a fully digital loyalty program based on earning points and redeeming them through Warba Bank’s application services or purchasing select items from partnering merchants. The customers can collect points from various activities in the banking app and exchange them for rewards or services. The loyalty program extended the functionalities of the existing mobile banking application.

The quick implementation of the loyalty features into the existing software stack and accommodating high security standards were one the most important issues in the project.

Key results

  • Efficient implementation of the loyalty program features into the existing applications thanks to the headless architecture and API-first approach
  • Quick integration of the loyalty system with the key solutions, such as banking system, the enterprise LDAP, single sign-on (SSO), and external gifts providers
  • Only three months of the implementation process for delivering a dedicated loyalty program
  • High scalability of the loyalty program with over 55,000 members enrolled and over
    100 million points converted into rewards in the first year of operation

Challenges: creating the right loyalty strategy and choosing the loyalty engine that will fit the current techstack

One of Warba Bank's goals is to help our customers achieve their life goals and grow their businesses by providing innovative financial solutions and outstanding experiences. With this in mind, we’ve decided to constantly expand our digital product and services. We concluded that the loyalty program was essential to connect everything together.

Mohamed El Shareef
Chief Digital Officer, Warba Bank

In 2020, one of Warba Bank’s main business objectives was to increase the engagement of customers in their mobile app and grow the number of mobile payments. While strategizing, the bank's team developed the idea for the loyalty program. The biggest business challenge was to design the right loyalty scheme that will fit the existing customer experience and will be easy to understand by the customers.

On the other hand, there was also a technical challenge with integrating the new loyalty program features into the existing infrastructure and applications. The loyalty engine required for the project needed to be seamlessly integrated with the legacy systems, such as SSO, the enterprise LDAP, and the payment technology. Additionally, the new tool had to be compliant with high security standards.

Warba Bank’s experts were looking for bank loyalty program software that could smoothly integrate into their current tech ecosystem without doubling the responsibilities of the other systems. The new loyalty engine had to be future-proof, flexible, and easily extendable.

The tech team was looking for a solution with a plug-and-play approach that could provide the capability of limitless integration with any of the current and future systems. Because of data security reasons, Warba Bank needed an on-premise solution that could be installed on the internal infrastructure in a private cloud.

After in-depth research and consultation with experienced loyalty experts, Warba Bank decided to use Open Loyalty as their loyalty software.

The bank loyalty program: loyalty mechanics of Pocket

While developing the loyalty program, Warba Bank focused on the value for end clients, good user experience, and bringing the customers closer to the brand. From the business perspective, the company wanted to drive the engagement in the mobile app and increase the number of payment card transactions. The new loyalty program rewards them with points and gifts for using the banking app.

Members of Warba Bank’s loyalty program can easily check their point balance in the mobile application

The loyalty scheme was based on points and rewards. Members of the program get points for performing activities such as:

  • Paying bills using Warba Bank’s mobile app.
    The customer can earn 1% of the amount of the bill in points for one-time payments. They can also earn 2% of the amount of the bill in points for scheduled payments.
  • Use a credit card and get points instead of cashback rewards.
    The more the customer pays with a credit card, the more points they can earn. One Kuwaiti dinar cashback reward gives a Pocket user 100 points.
  • Invite friends to Warba Bank using the mobile app.
    If a customer invites a friend to Warba Bank, they automatically get six points. If that friend transfers his/her salary to the bank, the customer will get up to 1,500 points.
  • Transfer salary and get points instead of cash.
    If the customer transfers their salary to the bank, they win a cash gift. Every Kuwait dinar of the cash gift gives the loyalty program participant 100 points in the Pocket app.
The bank’s loyalty program clearly informs customers about the ways they can earn points

Points earned in the bank loyalty program can be exchanged for:

  • Benefits provided by the Entertainer app that is fully integrated with Pocket.
    The Entertainer is a digital coupon subscription service for buy-one-get-one free promotions and discount offers for restaurants, attractions, activities, sports, fitness venues, etc. How does it work? Points earned by carrying out certain activities are converted into promotions and offers found in the Entertainer app. Of course, the number of points determines the value of the perks that can be gained and the amount of the discount. Brands such as Ibis Hotel, Wendy’s, Shine Clinic, and many others are part of the feature.
  • This digital wallet allows customers of the bank to redeem points for offline shopping. Points are exchanged for perks or discounts.
  • Pocket points are equivalent to miles. The greater the number of points, the greater the number of miles a client can use.
The mobile application interface informs customers about the number of available points and rewards that can be redeemed

API-first loyalty software that matches the strategy

  • Open Loyalty met all Warba Bank’s business and technical requirements. The loyalty scheme was built on top of the loyalty points module and rewards management system.
  • To meet all the required loyalty mechanics, Open Loyalty had to take a custom approach and make customizations, such as the “lock-and-release” feature. That allows for locking and unlocking the user's points, and also burning them manually on the API level or in a dedicated system.
  • To ensure maximum security, Open Loyalty was installed on internal hosting. The system was equipped with an extensive event logging system that records all key behaviors inside it.
  • Besides delivering a complete set of ready-to-use loyalty features, the solution provided a flexible loyalty program API. This allows a quick and painless integration of the loyalty system with the key solutions. The API-first approach used inside Open Loyalty gave Warba Bank the freedom to connect any system with the new loyalty scheme both now and in the future.
A member of Warba Bank’s loyalty program using the Pocket mobile application

The resulting success of the Pocket loyalty program

We chose Open Loyalty because of three reasons. First, their robust loyalty engine simply fits our expectations and covers all our business requirements. Next, with Open Loyalty’s API-first approach, we could minimize challenges during the integration process. The result was that we could quickly enrich existing systems with the new loyalty program features.Last but not least, Open Loyalty’s team provided us with great support. They helped us with the setup of the loyalty program and also in maintaining the highest safety standards
Mohamed El Shareef
Chief Digital Officer, Warba Bank

Thanks to the fruitful and smooth collaboration between Warba Bank and Open Loyalty, the new, personalized loyalty system was launched in just three months. The API-first architecture allowed for the quick integration of the loyalty platform with the key solutions. These include the banking system, the enterprise LDAP, SSO, and an external gift provider. With over 55,000 members enrolled and over 100 million points converted into rewards in the first year of operation. The Pocket loyalty program is a big success.

The Open Loyalty and Warba Bank teams continue working on delivering the best loyalty program in the banking industry.

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