Afterpay’s loyalty program is an Afterthought.

by | Feb 25, 2021 | Loyalty Frameworks, Member Benefits, Rewards

The Afterpay loyalty program, Pulse Rewards, does not have it’s finger on the pulse of best practice.

These are my top 3 issues with it…

1. The Proposition

Afterpay say:

‘Get rewarded for responsible spending’

This is the headline callout for Pulse Rewards. Though, one of the core program rewards claims to unlock ability to push out repayments more frequently. Isn’t this benefit in direct contradiction to the behaviour which is being rewarded in the first place?

This could be perceived as providing a reward which establishes bad repayment habits. Bad habits that happened to generate $28Mil (and 24% of total income) for Afterpay in late fees last year. Just saying.

Afterpay say:

‘We want you to get more of what you love with the flexibility to do so on your own terms. That’s the Pulse rewards program.’

Okay Afterpay, see issue number 2. I wouldn’t call these my ‘own’ terms…

2. The Complexity

Afterpay say:

‘You’ll be able to unlock Pulse rewards by meeting the following criteria’

  • You have to be an Afterpay user in Australia (yep, simple enough).
  • You have to make 15 or more on-time payments, on orders $40 or more, in a 6-month earnings period. Oh and the first payment of an order, when paid at the time of purchase, does not count towards your total number of on-time payments. (huh?).
  • You have to make no more than 3 late payments, in that same 6-month period. (and I’ve gone cross-eyed).

Wait, how do I get a reward?

3. The Value

Afterpay say:

‘On-time payments lead to big-time perks’

If a miracle occurs, and your purchases meet the complex set of criteria required to qualify for a reward, here’s what you get:

  • Pay nothing upfront (you won’t need to make your first payment until 2 weeks after you buy). I’m pretty sure this is a standard feature of the product available to non-Pulse members who’ve repaid in full with Afterpay before. Not really big time. What else do I get?
  • Change payment dates (reschedule your payment due dates up to 6 times every year (2x more than non-Pulse members). See Issue number 1 about responsible lending. What’s big time about this?
  • Get exclusive access (be the first to access future product launches and exclusive offers). This is vague at best and is certainly not big time.

Am I missing something?

The proposition of this program is contradictory to brand. It’s confusing as hell and adds little to no value to the lives of members.

Afterpay have a lot of work to do on Pulse Rewards to even put themselves on the pathway towards best-practice. I would suggest starting by looking through the lens of the customer.

Stacey is a loyalty specialist with extensive experience in loyalty, digital marketing, eCommerce, social media and customer service.

Her role as the Loyalty Director of Loyalty & Reward Co involves developing and driving loyalty and marketing initiatives for clients, including loyalty program strategic design, loyalty psychology application, member lifecycle management approaches, ongoing promotional campaign management, digital marketing and social media strategy, market research and investor relations.

Stacey co-created the book Loyalty Programs: The Complete Guide, the most comprehensive book on loyalty program theory and practice available. She also presents a number of modules as part of the Loyalty Programs Masterclass run by Loyalty & Reward Co in conjunction with ADMA.

Stacey runs the Loyalty & Reward Co business website and regularly contributes her own blog and news articles. Visit us at

For interest, Stacey’s personal favourite loyalty program is currently Mecca Beauty Loop.

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