Friday, February 19, 2010

more imint

I thought of responding to Vandana's comment in the previous post, but it's length warranted a separate post.

One point you make is valid. You anyway make these purchases, why not get paid for them right? Another thing is that, many individual brands have their own reward schemes - imint does a good enough job to bring them under one umbrella so you have more traction to redeem.

The holes:

1) imint makes its money (I think) by this business model: Align with specific brands. If it aligned with all, the brands lose their differentiation. For example, if imint was accepted at all petrol bunks, the petrol bunks earn no benefit from imint. But since only HP accepts them, a customer with an imint card goes to a HP bunk avoiding BP and Indianoil. As a return, HP possibly gives a cut to imint which in turn passes on some to the customer. For this kind of a service, I think the customer deserves more than 0.5%.

2) When I have to shell out 4 points to redeem 1 rupee, the point loses its value. Why should I spend 50 Rs to get one point which is worth 25 paise? (0.5% again). I think the reword should be more like 4-5%. The business model is a little unfair!

3) I also think that points should directly translate to rupees - i.e, if I have 5 points, it must be worth five rupees of redemption. Then the customer will realize very clearly that 200 points equates to 1 rupee. This veiling is what keeps the model going isn't it?

Having said all this - I guess there's no harm swiping your mint if you were going to make the purchase anyway. What I would not advise doing is to change your preferred brand purchase for the sake of imint. The kind of benefit it provides is not worth the favor you're doing to the company!

If only your home loan (the home must be a penthouse!) could take in an imint card number, that 82k watch would be yours with the home - LOL!

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