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REWARDS PROGRAMMES

Why would a bank buy a food review media company?

By our News Team | 2021

There are signs that brands competing in the credit card space are thinking differently about what drives spending and attracts customers.

Global financial services firm J.P. Morgan has acquired the food discovery and reviews service, The Infatuation. This is another sign that firms competing in the payments space are thinking differently about what drives consumer spending and excites customers.

Credit card spending matters hugely to banks’ business models. Among big spending customers, rewards are a key reason to choose one bank’s credit card product over another. The Infatuation’s acquisition – for an undisclosed sum – now joins several other dining-related perks J.P. Morgan can offer to its customers that will hopefully set it apart from the pack.

This demonstrates the wider rethink underway about what smart marketers need to do in engagement-based businesses like credit cards. 

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

As Brian Morrissey, former editor-in-chief of digital marketing firm Digiday comments: “some will build, some will buy” in order to acquire media assets capable of driving engagement. For instance, another US financial services company, Chase, (also owned by J.P. Morgan), launched a dining hub that gives access to deals in over 4 000 restaurants for holders of certain credit card products.

In 2019, American Express acquired the booking platform Resy, which has since expanded the credit card company’s client rewards offering.

Seeking popularity with Millennials

The Infatuation focuses on the North American market, but also maintains editorial operations in a handful of international locations. J.P. Morgan’s purchase of the service brings on board a media property that is extremely popular with Millennials.

Traditional perks have become almost unsustainably expensive during the pandemic. In the US, credit-card spending in restaurants is already growing under the loosening of restrictions there and ‘deals-on-meals’ come far cheaper than deals on air miles.

“[The deal] demonstrates J.P. Morgan’s commitment to meeting customers where they are with exceptional benefits, useful content and one-of-a-kind experiences, at scale,” J.P. Morgan said in a statement to the Financial Times newspaper.

Sourced from the Financial Times

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