[Interview] Serge Hovhanessian – Société Générale
Why has Société Générale opted for a cashback program?
At Société Générale, we have always prioritised the satisfaction and loyalty of our customers. That’s why we were one of the first banks to set up a points-based loyalty program, called Filigrane. In 2014, we felt it was time for it to be updated, and we naturally turned to the Cashback model, which was starting to appear in Europe. Initially, this offer was a “simple” substitute, but I must confess that Cashback became an effective response to the emergence of online banks and other neo-banks.
What has CDLK brought to your offer?
We wanted to make it easier for our customers to access and use the program, and for cashback to be offered at local merchants, who are so important to us. So, in 2019 we were looking for a simple and reliable technical solution that would allow to obtain cashback on all types of purchases, both in-store and online. CDLK’s platform, which links our customers’ card spending to our retail partners’ campaigns, was the most obvious solution. In addition, to remain competitive in this dynamic market, we must constantly innovate to differentiate ourselves and; the contribution of a start-up like CDLK in this area of innovation is extremely valuable to us.
It is often said that the large CAC 40 groups have difficulties collaborating effectively with start-ups. How is your relationship with CDLK?
I think the quality of the relationship we enjoy with CDLK proves this wrong. Of course, it isn’t all straightforward and, as with any partnership, we both need to make an effort. From our side, we must become more agile and responsive, while CDLK has to learn to be a little more patient! More seriously, our relationship is excellent and we work well together on a daily basis. To quote one of our old bank taglines, I would say that we “combine our talents”.
Head of Banking Services, Société Générale