Laws affecting loyalty program management vary from country to country around the world. Key elements, which are meant to protect consumers, impact the expiration of loyalty points, define restrictions for redemption, and require permission and consent of data collection and use.
Some of the laws that our Oracle CrowdTwist customers have to account for are from Canada, South Africa, and Europe. You’ll want to consult an attorney to determine which laws you need to comply with and how, but here’s a quick look at the laws in those countries and how they impact loyalty programs.
Ontario and Quebec have implemented several requirements for loyalty programs. Because they are the two most populous provinces, any loyalty program that operates in Canada should adhere to the terms.
Under Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act, regulations went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018 that prohibit rewards points from expiring based on passage of time alone. However, points can still expire if:
Under Quebec’s Consumer Protection Act, which went into effect on Aug. 1, 2018, as well as its amendments, which went into effect on Aug. 1, 2019, similar restrictions around the expiration of points are imposed, plus some additional demands. For instance, it stipulates that:
And when a loyalty program offers rewards exceeding 50 CAD in value, it must:
Because of these two laws, we usually recommend that clients who choose to have their loyalty program points expire use a 12-month rolling expiration period based on inactivity, which Quebec’s CPA defines as a lack of point earning or burning activity.
An example of a loyalty program in Canada that has a shorter points expiration period is 7-11, which is able to expire points in less than a year because of the low prices of all rewards, which include snacks and fountain drinks.
In South Africa, the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 places a number of restrictions on loyalty programs, mostly around redemptions. For instance, loyalty programs:
Indirectly applicable to loyalty programs, South Africa’s CPA also protects consumers from products that arrive damaged and against misleading product descriptions, especially in cases where only a description is provided. Consumers have the right to reject products that don’t meet their expectations if sold from open stock, too.
Our CrowdTwist customers operating in South Africa must make reward redemption as easy as possible for their members.
Loyalty programs operating in the European Union need to adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect on May 25, 2018. Among a range of data privacy and consent mandates, it requires that brands:
CrowdTwist supports strong permission practices, the anonymization of loyalty member data, and more to ensure compliance. The platform and services are continually adapting to meet evolving domestic and international privacy needs and to streamline clients’ abilities to fulfill anonymization requests.
With most privacy laws, it’s not so much where your business is located as it is where your customers are located. In this instance, loyalty programs need to be ever mindful of where their members are, as that will determine the laws to which you need to adhere. Consult your legal counsel to ensure that you understand your legal responsibilities.
Need help with your loyalty program? Oracle Digital Experience Agency has hundreds of marketing and communication experts ready to help Oracle customers create stronger connections with their customers and employees, even if they’re not using an Oracle platform as the foundation of that experience. Our award-winning specialists can handle everything from creative and strategy to content planning and project management.
Carly Mathews is a Senior Strategist for Oracle CrowdTwist, joining Oracle with the acquisition of CrowdTwist in 2019. Her background includes 8 years of consultative experience, including 3 years dedicated to marketing strategy and execution. Her experience advising clients on strategic business transformations enables her to bring an analytical, data-driven mindset to loyalty marketing initiatives.