The power of cashback as an employee benefit
When you look at the different kinds of employee benefits out there, discounts are widely used by businesses and, of course, very popular amongst employees. Who doesn’t love getting money off their purchases? Discounts are a great way to give your employees something back by giving them the opportunity to get money off a range of different products and services.
Cashback, however, works a bit differently. The principle is the same as a discount, but rather than getting money off, employees get money back when they buy goods from participating retailers. So, while employees still pay full price, they instead accumulate free money which they can then save or spend.
Essentially an extra source of income, cashback is a fuss-free, high value benefit that can truly strengthen your overall benefits programme. Read on to find out why…
How does it work?
Put simply, rather than paying a percentage less on products and services, employees earn cashback as a percentage of their total spend with a particular retailer. So, when doing the weekly shop, choosing a holiday, or eating out for dinner with friends, employees pay the full price like they normally would and get a percentage of the money back.
To put this into context and show you how cashback can work as part of your benefits programme, here’s how it works on our advantage benefits and discounts solution:
Cashback in 5 steps:
1. Advantage users can earn cashback through reloadable cards, e-vouchers and paper vouchers, all of which they can easily access on the platform.
2. Employees simply browse the extensive range of offers, which can be filtered into different shopping categories such as Clothing & Jewellery, Eating Out, DIY & Motoring, and Supermarkets.
3. Whenever an employee makes a cashback purchase through advantage, a percentage of the full price is added to their account.
4. Employees can check their cashback balance and view their transfer history on advantage at any time. Their ‘My Cashback Page’ displays their current cashback balance, processing cashback, as well as a full chronological record of each time cashback has been credited to their account, broken down by date and source.
5. They can also transfer their current balance of cashback directly to their bank account or put it back into any of their reloadable cards, as well as set up direct debits for reloadable cards that they use regularly.
As soon as a user has bought a reloadable card, retailer voucher or digital voucher, their cashback is automatically added to their account. The process after that is slightly different, depending on the cashback product chosen.
- Employees receive reloadable cards in the post.
- Once a card has arrived, it needs to be activated by the employee. This can be done in a few seconds on advantage.
- Employees will then be able to use the card to pay for goods at the relevant retailer.
- When logged into advantage, employees can check the balances of their cards, load more money onto them on an ad-hoc basis, and/or set up automatic monthly loads.
- Employees receive retailer vouchers in the post.
- Depending on the retailer, these either come in the form of a paper voucher or a single-use card.
- Once a retailer voucher has arrived, employees can use it straight away to pay for goods at the relevant retailer.
- Digital vouchers are sent to employees via email and stored on their ‘My Messages’ page on advantage.
- Depending on the retailer, these vouchers come as either a barcode or a code to be used when paying for goods at the relevant retailer.
Employees can also earn cashback on instant online purchases made through advantage.
- Once an employee has found an online cashback offer for their retailer of choice, they simply click ‘use this offer’.
- They are then taken to the retailer’s website and are free to browse and make a purchase.
- Any purchases made in this way are tracked and the relevant amount of cashback is transferred to the employee’s account.
What are the benefits?
Cashback is essentially free money that your employees can earn on top of their salaries. Of course, the amount of money employees acquire is entirely dependent on their shopping habits and whether they effectively utilise the cashback offers available to them, but it’s possible for them to earn hundreds even thousands of pounds in cashback every year.
This extra source of money can be treated as a subsidiary income and left to accrue over time. Employees can therefore use their cashback account as an alternative savings mechanism – one that doesn’t require their direct input. They can continue shopping and effortlessly save money at the same time. Then, at any time they choose, they can transfer this money into their bank account and use it on bigger purchases like holidays or big events like Christmas.
For some, the process of getting cashback seems like a lengthy task that’s not worth the hassle. But, when a cashback facility is embedded into your benefits programme, it’s actually a very simple benefit for your employees.
If you have a range of cashback offers available on your platform, your employees will be able to browse with ease and find something relevant to their interests and shopping habits. On advantage, for example, users can select a specific shopping category such as ‘Eating Out’ and choose a cashback offer from a variety of restaurants. If an employee is only interested in reloadable cards, for instance, they can also filter their view by offer type to make it easier for them.
Online cashback is easy too. As with advantage, employees can simply shop online through the platform and their purchases are automatically tracked back to their account. So, they can shop online like they usually would and their cashback will get put into their account with no need for them to input any information themselves.
For everyday purchases, employees can set up a monthly direct debit through the platform so that their reloadable card always has funds and can be used whenever it’s needed. For example, an employee could automatically load £350 onto their supermarket reloadable card every month. This means they whenever they do their food shopping, they can earn cashback without having to manually load money onto their card every time it runs out.
While employees effectively save the same amount through cashback as they would from a discount (if the percentage is the same), cashback has more value because employees gain something tangible from it.
Getting 10% off at the till is a great benefit, but employees don’t actually see that 10% saving. The money they would’ve spent will usually dissolve into other purchases, so they won’t feel the real benefit of it. With cashback, employees can not only see how much money they’ve earned over time, they can actually use this money for something substantial which means the end result has a high value.
For example, an employee who uses a reloadable card at the supermarket every week is going to accumulate a significant amount of cashback over time. When they log into the platform, they’ll be able to see their cashback totting up – a positive value statement that reinforces the benefit they’re getting from using their card.
Cashback is a highly powerful employee benefit and, when delivered effectively, can have a big impact on your employees. If you’d like to find out more about how we do cashback on our advantage platform, click here.