Aura – Buy, Invest, Donate, is a new arrival on the loyalty space and it combines cash rewards with investment options and a strong philanthropic focus.
Instead of arbitrary “points”, Aura rewards members with real dollars on every transaction they make with enrolled businesses. Cash rebates accrued by members can be held in cash or invested in ETFs, and can be withdrawn at any time. In addition, from each transaction rebate, an additional contribution will be made to a charity, community group or sports club of the member’s choice.
Aura is the brainchild of ZAC Creative’s Troy Zafer who has built the business with Adam Tegg, Vincent Teubler and Lorenzo Lorefice – a highly qualified team of sales, marketing and digital executives with long careers in branding and digital design.
The Aura founders and executive are supported by an advisory Board that brings significant and diverse experience to the table – John Driscoll (marketing and advertising), Michael Ashforth (investment banking), Adhish Kulkarni (international loyalty programmes) Scott Foster (card payments and commercial banking) and John Worsfold (AFL Premiership winning Captain and Coach).
Zafer said: “We created Aura because we wanted to help Australians get fairly rewarded for their purchasing loyalty whilst at the same time helping businesses to cost effectively acquire new customers whilst retaining their existing ones.”
So far, over 400 companies have signed up to the Aura platform, including recognised brands such as The Good Guys, Vodafone, The Iconic, Lululemon, Adairs and T2. More are being added every month.
“But we’re not stopping at retail, we’re in discussions with a range of parties which will add other regular spending categories like petroleum, mortgages, insurance, telecommunications, utilities and more,” says Zafer.
Aura is free for consumers, businesses, charities and community groups to join.
Zafer said: “Despite strong aggregate uptake of loyalty programs, we see low satisfaction with individual programs, and persistent concerns around whether or not the effort is actually worth it.”
“We believe that loyal customers deserve a better deal than currently on offer, and that rewards should be in real currency that is put to work in the financial markets, not sitting as non-transferrable points that are a discount off a future purchase and can be devalued at any time.“
“Our independent research conducted by Painted Dog shows that over 50% of consumers would be willing to move to a service provider that is part of the Aura program making the program a compelling customer acquisition and retention initiative for companies to be part of.”
“We also wanted to make a difference. So we decided to donate 50 per cent of our net revenue to charities and community groups that need help.”
“By unapologetically putting members’ interests first, while costing our partner businesses no more, Aura is built to scale and take market share.”