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Customer card disadvantages: Are plastic customer cards a thing of the past?

Numerous providers are sticking to the classic, analog customer card - find out here in our blog post whether this decision offers the best advantages for your company or whether plastic and paper customer cards are a thing of the past.
Many companies consider their loyalty card to be a kind of status symbol that symbolizes membership of a privileged customer base for the person holding it. The hypothesis is therefore: bonus cards are considered a valuable status symbol of loyalty and customer retention for cardholders and cardholders. But how up-to-date is this still? We examined the advantages and disadvantages of a traditional loyalty card for you. First things first: the classic plastic card has had its day!
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Physical customer cards: Not very user-friendly...

The classic loyalty card has long been the most effective means of customer loyalty and is therefore rightly very popular with companies. Incentives such as discounts or rewards motivate customers to remain loyal to you as a retailer, to shop with you again and again, to collect loyalty points and even to recommend your company to others.

A rewards or bonus program like this works particularly well with stamp cards or as a sticker collection pass to really "collect" points in the same way. Other discounts that you receive for birthdays, for example, can be implemented well with the customer card.

But don't all these benefits also work online? Yes, some things offer even more benefits digitally. In addition, many processes, procedures and options are much easier to implement digitally. One example of this would be an individual discount for specific customers based on the information available.


Physical customer cards: Registration very complicated!

One disadvantage of classic customer cards is the very cumbersome registration process. Customers must first register for the customer club. This is done in different ways; in most cases, a slip of paper with the personal data is filled out on site.

However, this is not the end of the registration process. After registering, customers have to be patient, as it takes time for the company to process all the necessary documents and send the physical customer card by post.

At this point, it must be clearly stated that this process is much easier to complete digitally. For example, joining a customer club - and at the same time acquiring a digital customer card - can be done within a few seconds and with just a few entries via cell phone registration. Customer details such as name, e-mail address and date of birth are all that is needed. Loyalty points can then be easily collected via the loyalty app; data protection is also taken into account during registration.

Einfache Registrierungsmöglichkeiten für deine Kund:innen

Physical customer cards: Direct 1:1 communication virtually impossible...

The most effective loyalty programs have proven to be those that build a personal bond with their customers. This is achieved through continuous, personal and direct communication. This is difficult to achieve with the analog solution. This is because it is difficult to send a message to a physical customer card.

Companies are reliant on their customers providing their telephone number or email address when signing up. This is the only way to contact customers and send them personalized offers. If this does not happen, direct communication between the business or provider and their own regular customers becomes virtually impossible.


Physical customer cards: Not sustainable at all!

In order to use traditional, analogue loyalty programs, participants always need physical loyalty cards - but these are often made of plastic and generate unnecessary waste. Paper cards, on which customers receive a stamp for every purchase, for example, also have many disadvantages: they end up in the trash - not to mention the fact that they are often forgotten when they are actually needed, e.g. when paying at the checkout in the store.

A digital solution, on the other hand, not only reduces the amount of waste generated by plastic cards and stamped passes, but can also digitize the invoicing process. This means that customers not only always have their loyalty points with them when shopping in stores, but also the relevant invoices. Incidentally, one example of excellent digitalization in retail is the well-known company Müller: with Müller Pay, several individual steps, including the collection of loyalty points and the payment process, have been digitalized in one step.

It is therefore clear to see that the sustainability aspect is unfortunately not present in the analog solution. The physical loyalty card also has another disadvantage: customers have to carry it around with them at all times. Not only does it take up space in their wallet, but it can also easily be forgotten at home or in another bag. A digital solution can also eliminate these negative points.

Conclusion - Disadvantages of physical loyalty cards

Physical customer cards have long since had their day!

It can be said that customer loyalty measures are more important than ever before. But the physical customer card has had its day. While it was certainly the best means of effective customer loyalty in the past, it can no longer keep up with the market. New technologies are in demand. Digital solutions not only offer easier usability for companies, but also many advantages for end consumers, such as customizable communication. This motivates loyal customers even more to collect points and remain loyal to their favorite companies.

Our conclusion: if you want to strengthen or improve your customer loyalty through a program, the digital solution including a loyalty club for collecting points is just the right thing!

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