Traditional Loyalty Programs Are At Risk! Is Your Store Safe?

Customer Programs from the Largest Businesses Get “Ripped Off”…
(Subway was giving away more subs then they were selling!)

 How Safe Are You?

Everyone knows technology changes overnight and simply put, we can’t imagine our lives without the digital standards we have come to love and we definitely can’t imagine a life without Smart Phones!  In reality, we trust Smart Technology and involve it in almost EVERY Business activity we do.

For example:
Business Security and Store Entry (No need for Keys)
Webinars  (Who sits in a classroom)
GPS (What are Maps?)
Banking and “Docu-signing” documents which are then stored “In the Cloud”  (No filing cabinet here)
We even build new Business relationships with people we have never met!

And we Trust It ALL without Question.

Almost Everything has Evolved, But what about Small Business Loyalty and Gift Programs?…We know large corporations have moved to more digital methods and there are a couple of High Cost “group” options, but what about your smaller, Local Businesses that can’t Afford the High Prices and Big Programs…..  Ya, we heard crickets too!


Small Business Loyalty Powerhouse!

Securely switch your Loyalty & Gift Programs to Cardlis!  The complete solution for your Small Business Programs that includes Unlimited Custom Cards, Promotions, Digital APP Management and Reporting and much more! Cardlis is Easily Integrated with participating Point of Sale Providers OR Can Be 100% controlled with the Cardlis Merchant APP!

– Secure, Every card has a single owner and cannot be duplicated.  Used cards are retired and never
– Customers are Vetted through Email and Text Message Verification.
– Unlimited Card Creations.
– Promote to Clients and Send Notifications.
– $20/Month can Return Thousands in Savings EVERY YEAR.

3 Considerations for Fraud Prevention in Loyalty Programs

*Over the last few months, fraud prevention and detection have been coming up to a greater extent with clients. As consumers become savvier, this becomes an ever-increasing challenge. So, if you’re launching a loyalty program, here are two questions you’ll need to think about:

What measures can be put in place to prevent fraudulent activity?

And knowing that you’ll never be able to think of everything, what can be put in place to detect or alert you to fraudulent activity?

1.  Prevention: Business Rules That Limit Gaming

The best way to prevent fraud is by considering the opportunities for fraud in the program construct and using business rules to limit those opportunities. For instance, in a traditional loyalty program construct, there are both earning and redemption mechanics, so you should always include business rules for these. An example of a traditional loyalty program suffering from fraud was Subway’s Sub Card — which was a stamp-and-booklet type of redemption. Unfortunately, the stamps were able to be counterfeited, and there were also issues with internal staff stealing stamps and selling them. Subway didn’t realize that its program was under attack, until it discovered there were more free sandwiches being given out than were being purchased. Total cost are estimated to have exceeded $3.2 million in a single Quarter, ultimately sinking the program and giving Subway a hard learned lesson in Loyalty security.


Here are some specific examples of business rules for earning and redemption:

Earning Mechanics: Include limits based on unusual frequency. For example, a program that awards points for visits should ensure there is a limit to the number of earning opportunities in a given timeframe or implement a minimal dollar threshold associated with each visit to ensure it is legitimate (e.g. earn when you spend $25 or more per visit with a maximum of 2 earning visits per week).

Reward/Redemption Mechanics: If your systems aren’t integrated in real time, you need to think about what that means in terms of your vulnerability. Consider what’s on offer and make sure your program/company is protected. For instance, you can limit exposure just by having the program reward direct spend-back in-store or online, and have a minimum spend requirement and expiration on the coupon (e.g. $5 off coupon toward a $50 purchase at your retail location, expiring in 10 days).


2.  Employee and Vendor Operators

While we often think of fraud being committed by members, we have to always think about how employees or vendor operators may use their knowledge or access to benefit inappropriately. This is a consideration beyond loyalty programs. A recent example of costly internal fraud happened to luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue, where five members of an identity theft ring of sales clerks purchased over $40,000 of designer shoes, handbags and accessories with stolen credit card information from over 20 Saks customers.

Suggested business requirements for your loyalty program platform:

Automatic logging – Any time a member’s profile is accessed through administrative tools, the employee/vendor operator should be logged along with any associated activity.

Permissions/Thresholds – If point adjustments are allowed, establish thresholds based on an employee’s/vendor’s role.

Reporting – Make online reports available to track adjustments, earning and redemption by employees and vendors.

3.  Detection: Alerts and Reporting

Since full prevention is impossible within a program, detection of inappropriate activity is important. Establishing email alerts to a defined group of individuals when unusual activity occurs is a best practice. This will allow the team to address detected issues in a timely manner. Regular monitoring of trends and reports also support detection of issues. For example, if alternate shipping addresses are allowed in a program where merchandise is shipped, an alternate shipping report will provide an opportunity for a visual check that nothing unusual is happening, such as an employee redeeming from a member’s account and shipping to a personal address.

Final Thoughts

While a lot of the thinking related to fraud occurs during the launch of a program, as a program evolves or new scenarios present themselves it is important to continue to revisit these measures and ensure they are updated. These present opportunities to refine processes and business rules, and adjust detection and reporting protocols.*

*Maria Pallante

VP, Operations


Petris Liquor

Cardlis would like to Welcome Petris Liquor to the Cardlis Family!

Petris Liqour Store is the place to go for all your favourite wines, spirits, beers and liquors in Lethbridge! Plus, we deliver! No need to get behind the wheel, just call us and we’ll deliver right to your door. As always, we have a great selection at great prices and volume discounts!

Download the Cardlis APP Today, Select the “Petris Party Points” Card and

A) Search by Name to add your Party Points card to Your Cardlis Account

B) Select Join to become a new member.

Look For Product Updates and In-Store Notifications from Petris available within the Card details on your Phone or Signup Online to keep track of your purchases!


Gift Programs are an Essential Small Business Marketing Strategy

Why Gift Programs are an Essential Marketing Strategy for Small Business
Cardlis Applications Inc.

All business owners are familiar with Advertising, Direct Mail, coupons…  Sure, there are many ways to get your customers’ attention, But what will ultimately motivate them to enter your store, purchase your products or services? Adding Gift Programs to your business marketing is a smart way to engage customers and is a great segue to Repeat Customers and Loyalty Programs . Here are 7 Reasons Gift Programs are Excellent for Small Business:

  1. Perceived Value of FREE.

Unlike coupons, a gift card makes consumers feel like they have instant money to spend. Plus, over half of consumers using a gift card will visit more than once to deplete their card, providing additional selling opportunities and positive interaction with customers.

  1. Don’t cut into your profits.

You can offer loyal customers Pre-paid gift cards or Buy One Get One (BOGO) purchases instead of coupons or other types of discounts, you’ll recoup your investment quickly – DID YOU KNOW; Close to 70% of Gift Card Users OVERSPEND Gift Cards by Nearly 40%  !?

  1. Generate revenue and Invest the Cash without Selling Any products.

When you sell a gift card, you get paid in advance of any products or services rendered. You keep the cash until the card is redeemed. Not many marketing strategies will immediately improve cash flow like gift cards do.

  1. Build brand awareness.

Gift cards are a cost-effective advertising vehicle, giving your business top-of-mind presence. They’re like a wallet-sized billboard reminding customers to visit you, and they cost a lot less than a life-size billboard.

  1. Extremely convenient.

The evolution of Gift cards has promised more convenience than other types of promotional vehicles. Plus, retailers who move from paper gift certificates to plastic gift cards typically see a 50-100 percent sales increase from their gift offering. Recent moves to E-Certificates have skyrocketed Gift Program sales over 200% annually*.  Canadian company, Cardlis Applications Inc has made these transactions affordable for any small business by offering Online & Mobile Gift Card purchases but also ties digital loyalty into the mix! Both retailers and their customers can manage transactions with convenient Mobile APP’s.

  1. Additional promotional opportunities.

Some digital programs, like that of Cardlis, offer an expanded toolbox of promotional features including plastic to mobile gift card conversion, social media sharing, in-app promotions, merchant demographic services and more.

  1. Greater distribution for a Lesser Price

Gift cards have innately more promotional power than marketing strategies like advertisements, which have a limited lifespan. Cardlis is creating a buzz in local shopping networks and allows for customers to view Any Program at their convenience including remaining Gift and Loyalty Balances.  Promotional channels allow for product displays to many potential customers and shopper demographic data which was previously out of reach for small business is available starting at $15/month!

Bottom Line

Digital Gift Programs can offer huge increases in Small Business Revenue, Customer retention and Loyalty while maximizing labor inefficiencies. Most importantly, the right Digital Suite can strengthen the connection between your business and customers.


*Blackhawk Network, 2015

Loyalty Programs Are A MUST for Small Business!

The reason behind Customer Loyalty Programs are unique for every business BUT they all target the same goal: Repeat customers are rewarded and businesses increase sales. It’s a basic but powerful strategy.

For instance, My Starbucks Rewards, the coffee giant’s customer-retention program, significantly contributes to the company’s record growth.  Starbucks claims that the program played a key role in its 26 percent rise in profit and 11 percent jump in total revenue in 2015’s second quarter fiscal results.

Best Buy also turned to customer loyalty after experiencing stagnant revenue growth year after year in its brick-and-mortar stores. To keep up with major online retailers like and eBay, Best Buy increased reward points by 1% last year to motivate customers to keep coming back. This strategy along with additional changes has helped the company’s stock more than doubled since early last year.

Customer-loyalty programs appear to have become a staple for many large corporations. Whether the goal is to continually increase sales or to jump start sluggish revenue. But what about small businesses?  Manta’s business report “Achieving Big Customer Loyalty in a Small Business World” reveals that for early adopters who already have a customer loyalty program in placed, 64 percent of them report it’s been been effective, meaning it makes more money than costs to maintain it. It’s important for business owners to keep in mind that customer loyalty isn’t just for big businesses – programs can help any size business scale and reach new heights.

Here’s why customer loyalty programs matter to small business:

Repeat Customers Keep Giving. Having a customer-loyalty program could help you increase repeat customers, which, in turn could boost your business’s revenue. Based on the same report by Manta, a repeat customer spends 67 percent more on a given purchase than a new customer does. And they should be rewarded for this action, as retaining customers is less costly than acquiring new ones (9 Times Cheaper to be Exact!). By providing loyalty programs for current customers, small-business owners are not only saying thank you but are also motivating them to continue to be their brand ambassadors. They can easily spread the word about a business to their professional, personal and social networks, helping small-business owners increase their customer base even more.

Stand Above the Competition. It can be difficult for a small business to compete with a large brand considering that most large brands have more locations, resources, marketing dollars and the ability to offer lower prices. However, a good customer-loyalty program is an easy way for small businesses to show their personal side and remain competitive in spaces dominated by big business.

For example, many consumers may not love the coffee at a big-brand coffee chain but do love the fact they can earn points through their purchases and save money in the long run.  However, it would be very simple and cost effective for a small coffee-shop owner with quality coffee to do the same.

Customer Loyalty and Gift Programs don’t need to cost a fortune. Customer-loyalty programs don’t have to drain small businesses’ budget. While some corporations spill millions of dollars into loyalty programs, small businesses don’t have to follow the same tactic to achieve promising results. In today’s mobile era, cost-effective digital rewards programs are just as fruitful as the ones put in place by bigger players. Cardlis, a mobile APP which enables small businesses’ customers to earn points on their purchases by simply using their smartphones or printing secured certificates (from their accessible online accounts). In store efficiency is maximized with the removal of manual customer searches at checkout & Automatic customer account creation.  Gift Card sales are also available through Cardlis. You can also view all transactions in your Business Portal & use Cardlis on the road with their FREE Cardlis Merchant APP! Best of all, subscription price starts at as low as $15 per month. Small-business owners no longer have to waste time and money printing cards and buying ink and trying to fix a nightmare of improper customer account information when they are using Cardlis loyalty programs. More importantly, businesses are making it easier for their customers to keep using their service. Cheers to the end of Paper Punch Cards, Paper Certificates, Expensive Plastic Cards and yes….. Paper Cuts!

Use Peer Programs to Benefit Your Own. Sometimes “Another” loyalty card is that last thing new or existing customers want and finding a new method of engagement is tough.  Thankfully Cardlis also has this covered; Create promotions that are shown “In-APP” and are available to Every Customer Using Cardlis.

Collect Information. Loyalty Programs are a Great Tool to help you get to know your customer demographics and help you grow your business in its Target Market, Maybe you are in a market you never realized?

TIMES ARE CHANGING. It is IMPORTANT to consider the busy lifestyle of your customers.  Give them an easy and time efficient way to join programs, view points and/or gift card balances.  Without Easy…… Your Program Will Not Succeed How You Expect!

Customer-retention programs are not just for big brand name players. They can provide many benefits for small businesses, such as increasing sales, helping them stand out and developing a stronger relationship with their customers — and technology is making it easier and cheaper than ever before to launch one.

Wear ‘M’ Out Inc. Southern Alberta Attraction of the Year!

Wear ‘M’ Out Inc. is a Very Clean, Family Friendly and Economical destination for Southern Alberta families.  Not only are they Locally owned and Operated by active members in the Lethbridge Area, But Wear ‘M’ Out was also named the #1 Southern Alberta Attraction for 2016!

Wear ‘M’ Out also has a full Cafe “Fill ‘M’ Up Cafe” that offers Everything from Wraps to Pizza, and Chicken fingers to Milkshakes!

Birthday Parties are AWESOME! Book packages with up to 15 children allowed and enjoy One of 4 Private rooms for up to 2 hours and Unlimited Play!