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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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.