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Retailer Payment, Gift and Loyalty Cards in Europe

  • November 2013
  • -
  • Finaccord
  • -
  • 435 pages

Retailer Payment, Gift and Loyalty Cards in Europe is a report, based on a survey of over 3,300 prominent retail brands in 33 countries, about the provision of co-branded and private-label payment cards, gift cards and loyalty cards by major retailers across Europe. Retailer participation in coalition loyalty schemes is also considered. Countries covered are Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, and Ukraine.

In total, the research identifies close to 800 retailer payment cards, over 1,000 closed-loop gift cards, almost 1,200 proprietary retailer loyalty programs and 78 coalition loyalty schemes, thereby providing a definitive analysis of retailer co-branded, loyalty and private-label programs in Europe that goes far beyond the scope of previous published research. Moreover, the PartnerBASE™ database that accompanies the report details each of the many initiatives for retailer credit, deferred debit, debit and rechargeable pre-paid cards traced by Finaccord, specifying the operating models used by retailers, the payment networks to which the cards are affiliated and the identity of the ultimate card issuers in each case.

Key findings from the executive summary include:

- with respect to the penetration of co-branded and private-label / store cards by category of retailer, Finaccord’s research shows that across Europe as a whole, cards achieve the highest penetration among fuel retailers (88.5%), department store / variety retailers (34.0%) and supermarket / hypermarket chains (28.4%);

- 8.8% of the retailers with co-branded or private-label credit card schemes promote cards that are linked to more than one network - this can occur either by means of the fact that they offer two separate cards or, in a few cases, because a single card carries more than one marque;

- the largest competitor in the European market for retailer payment cards is BNP Paribas when measured by the number of exclusive relationships possessed by this group’s wholly-owned and joint venture issuers - collectively, and including LaSer Group, these account for 15.0% of the retailer payment card initiatives identified;

- as far as coalition loyalty programs are concerned, the survey ascertains that across all 33 countries in Europe, 904 retailers were found to take part in such schemes, equivalent to a penetration rate of 27.3%.

Table Of Contents

Retailer Payment, Gift and Loyalty Cards in Europe
0.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1
1.0 INTRODUCTION 3
What is this report about? 3
Rationale 3
In most countries, retailing is the most important co-branding arena for card issuers 3
… and the number of active coalition loyalty programs is continuing to increase each year 3
The evolution of the retailing market itself also encourages the launch of retailer payment cards 3
Methodology 4
Survey of retailers 4
The survey's scope covers over 3,300 major retail brands drawn from ten categories and 33 countries 4
and classified according to their use of offline-only, online-only or mixed distribution models 4
Definitions 6
Payment cards, gift cards and loyalty programs 6
Operating models 6
Weighted shares 7
PartnerBASE 7
Finaccord 7
2.0 REGIONAL OVERVIEW 9
Retailer payment cards 9
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 9
Just over 20% of major retail brands in Europe operate a co-branded or private-label payment card 9
…with Portugal posting the highest provision rate for retailer payment cards 9
Retailer payment cards are organised through a variety of different operating models 11
including use of external, joint venture and captive card issuers plus internally-managed schemes 11
Preferred operating models differ substantially from one country to another in Europe 11
BNP Paribas is particularly prominent as the owner or co-owner of providers of retailer cards 13
…and holds the largest share of partnerships in Europe both on unweighted and weighted terms 13
The great majority of fuel retailers manage their fuel card schemes on an internal basis 14
Almost a half of retailer payment cards in Europe run on private networks alone 15
MasterCard is comfortably ahead of Visa in terms of its retailer card partnerships 15
By some distance, fuel retail brands are most likely to have introduced their own payment card 17
… with more than a quarter of offline-only brands promoting a co-branded or private-label card 17
Gift cards 19
Just under a third of major retail brands in Europe offer stored-value gift cards 19
with those in the department store and variety sector most likely to do so 21
Retailer loyalty programs 23
More than 55% of major retail brands in Europe participate in some form of loyalty program 23
with those in Turkey displaying the greatest enthusiasm 23
Specialist retailers of consumer electronics are least likely to have a loyalty program 25
Proprietary loyalty programs 27
Over a third of major retail chains in Europe have launched a proprietary loyalty scheme 27
Coalition loyalty programs 29
Over a quarter of retailers surveyed participate in at least one coalition loyalty scheme 29
3.0 AUSTRIA 30
Introduction 30
Retailer payment cards 31
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 31

Only seven major retail brands in Austria operate their own co-branded or private-label payment card 31
with most running this activity themselves rather than using a separate captive or external partner 31
card complete Service Bank and IKANO Bank are the two non-internal card issuers 32
Retailer cards in Austria are either private-label products or run on the Routex network 33
Fuel retail brands are by far the most likely to have introduced their own payment card 34
Gift cards 35
Over a quarter of major retail brands in Austria offer stored-value gift cards to their customers 35
Retailer loyalty programs 37
Just over 40% of retail brands surveyed participate in a loyalty program of one sort or another 37
Specialist retailers of health and beauty products are the most likely to have a loyalty program 37
Proprietary loyalty programs 39
Just under 40% of major retail chains in Austria have launched their own proprietary loyalty scheme 39
Coalition loyalty programs 39
Three coalition loyalty programs are in evidence in Austria but few retail brands participate in them 39
4.0 BELGIUM 40
Introduction 40
Retailer payment cards 41
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 41
Almost a quarter of major retail brands operate their own co-branded or private-label payment card 41
with Buy Way Personal Finance the most commonly cited issuer of retailer cards 41
Formerly owned by BNP Paribas, this company is now controlled by Apax Partners 41
Seven of the eight retailers issuing their cards on an internal basis are fuel retailers 42
Buy Way Personal Finance is ranked first in both unweighted and weighted terms 42
Nearly two thirds of retailer cards run on private payment networks in Belgium 44
Fuel retail brands are most likely to have introduced their own payment card 46
Gift cards 48
Over a half of major Belgian retailers offer a stored-value gift card 48
with initiatives for these products visible across most retailer categories 48
Retailer loyalty programs 50
Over 40% of retail brands surveyed in Belgium participate in a loyalty program of one sort or another 50
Speciality retailers are the most likely to offer some form of loyalty program 50
Proprietary loyalty programs 52
More than a quarter of major retail chains in Belgium have launched their own loyalty scheme 52
Coalition loyalty programs 52
Two coalition loyalty programs include retailers in Belgium as participants 52
5.0 BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA 54
Introduction 54
Retailer payment cards 55
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 55
Only three major retail brands in Bosnia-Herzegovina have introduced their own payment card 55
with all three issuing and managing these cards themselves 55
and with all three classifiable as private-label products 56
Gift cards 58
Stored-value gift cards are offered by a minority of major retail brands in Bosnia-Herzegovina 58
Retailer loyalty programs 60
One third of retail brands surveyed participate in a loyalty program 60
with specialist retailers of health and beauty products the most likely to do so 60
Proprietary loyalty programs 62
Five major retail chains in Bosnia-Herzegovina have developed a proprietary loyalty scheme 62
Coalition loyalty programs 62
although there is only one coalition loyalty program 62

6.0 BULGARIA 63
Introduction 63
Retailer payment cards 64
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 64
Nine major retail brands in Bulgaria have launched a co-branded or private-label payment card 64
with several making use of external card issuers for this purpose 64
UniCredit Bulbank claims two partnerships for retailer payment cards in Bulgaria 65
and is also the owner of the Diners Club marque in this country 65
Most retailer cards in Bulgaria are configured as private-label products 66
Retail brands in only three categories have developed their own payment cards 67
Gift cards 68
and involvement in gift cards is limited to just two 68
Retailer loyalty programs 70
Loyalty program involvement extends to over a half of retail brands surveyed in Bulgaria 70
with supermarket and hypermarket brands accounting for the highest share of initiatives 70
Proprietary loyalty programs 72
Just under a half of major retail chains in Bulgaria have launched their own proprietary loyalty scheme 72
Coalition loyalty programs 72
Relatively few of the country's major retail brands have affiliated themselves to a coalition loyalty scheme 72
7.0 CROATIA 73
Introduction 73
Retailer payment cards 74
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 74
Co-branded or private-label payment cards are on offer from a dozen major retail chains in Croatia 74
with seven managing these themselves rather than working with external card issuers 74
Konzum and Metro both collaborate with PBZ Card for co-branded American Express cards 75
which endows that payment brand with the highest weighted share of network partnerships 76
Most retailer payment card initiatives are concentrated in the fuel and supermarket / hypermarket sectors 77
Gift cards 78
Comparatively few major retailers in Croatia offer stored-value gift cards 78
Retailer loyalty programs 80
Most retailer participation in loyalty programs is based around proprietary schemes 80
Seven out of eight retailer categories researched in Croatia feature loyalty program involvement 80
Proprietary loyalty programs 82
Proprietary loyalty schemes are up and running among just under 50% of major retail brands in Croatia 82
Coalition loyalty programs 82
although the influence of coalition loyalty programs remains fairly limited 82
8.0 CZECH REPUBLIC 83
Introduction 83
Retailer payment cards 84
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 84
A relatively low proportion of major retail brands have introduced their own payment cards 84
with most that do managing their schemes themselves on an internal basis 84
albeit four external card issuers are in evidence as partners for retailer payment cards 85
including PPF Group's Home Credit 85
In weighted terms, MasterCard is the leading network used for retailer cards 86
Five retailer categories feature no retailer payment cards whatsoever 87
Gift cards 88
The penetration of stored-value gift cards is also quite limited compared to elsewhere in Europe 88
Retailer loyalty programs 90
although over 40% of retailers are involved in loyalty programs 90
with participation rates highest among specialist retailers of health and beauty products 90

Proprietary loyalty programs 92
Two thirds of proprietary loyalty programs entail a loyalty card with no payment function 92
Coalition loyalty programs 92
All five of the country's coalition loyalty programs are run by financial institutions 92
9.0 DENMARK 94
Introduction 94
Retailer payment cards 95
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 95
Retailer payment cards are available from close to a third of major retail chains in Denmark 95
with many organised internally or issued via a captive 95
IKANO Bank serves as both a captive and external partner for retailer payment cards 96
Denmark's co-operative movement has taken its co-branded card program in-house 96
International payment brands exert a limited influence in the Danish retailer card market 97
All fuel brands have introduced their own payment card 98
Gift cards 100
Enthusiasm for offering stored-value gift cards is comparatively high 100
Retailer loyalty programs 102
Retailer involvement in loyalty programs is centred entirely on proprietary schemes 102
Loyalty program involvement is absent from two out of ten retailer categories 102
Proprietary loyalty programs 104
Over 40% of proprietary loyalty schemes are attached to both payment and non-payment cards 104
10.0 ESTONIA 105
Introduction 105
Retailer payment cards 106
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 106
Most retailer payment cards in Estonia are classifiable as credit cards 106
and most are issued through external partners 106
among which Swedbank claims the most partnerships 107
All retailer payment cards in Estonia either carry the MasterCard brand or are private-label products 108
and all are concentrated among retail chains employing an offline-only distribution model 109
Gift cards 110
Stored-value gift cards enjoy a very high rate of penetration among the country's major retailers 110
Retailer loyalty programs 112
as does loyalty program involvement 112
by virtue of the fact that retailers in all categories are active in this sphere 112
Proprietary loyalty programs 114
Just under a half of major retail chains in Estonia have launched their own loyalty scheme 114
Coalition loyalty programs 114
while a dozen participate in the two coalition loyalty programs in evidence in this country 114
11.0 FINLAND 115
Introduction 115
Retailer payment cards 116
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 116
Retailer payment cards exist in debit and prepaid versions in addition to credit cards 116
with three operating models used to manage them 116
Nine non-internal card issuers are active in Finland's retailer payment card market 117
among which S-Pankki and Nordea Finance claim the highest share of partnerships 117
MasterCard and Visa are tied in the unweighted analysis but the former leads in weighted terms 119
Retailer cards are most numerous among supermarket and hypermarket brands 119
Gift cards 119
Over three quarters of major retail brands in Finland offer stored-value gift cards 119

Retailer loyalty programs 123
Involvement in loyalty programs extends to over two thirds of major retail brands in Finland 123
with activity in evidence across all retailer categories and distribution models 123
Proprietary loyalty programs 125
Only one retailer runs a proprietary scheme that is not linked to any type of card 125
Coalition loyalty programs 125
Plussakortti is the coalition scheme that has attracted the most retail brands as participants 125
12.0 FRANCE 127
Introduction 127
Retailer payment cards 128
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 128
Over a third of major retail brands in France operate their own co-branded or private-label payment card .. 128
with captive and joint venture card issuers quite commonly used in this context 128
BNP Paribas Personal Finance is particularly prominent as a co-owner of retailer joint ventures 129
By weighted share of partnerships, Credit Agricole Consumer Finance is ranked first 130
Deteriorating results mean that the ownership structure of LaSer Group may be subject to change 131
Nearly a half of retailer cards run on private payment networks in France… 131
…while Cofinoga represents a formerly private network that now serves multiple retailers 131
When viewed by network, weighted and unweighted shares are broadly similar 131
Fuel retail brands are most likely to have introduced their own payment card 132
… with brands operating a mixed distribution model also above the average 133
Gift cards 135
Just over a quarter of major French retailers offer a stored-value gift card 135
with initiatives for these products visible across all retailer categories 135
Retailer loyalty programs 137
Just under 60% of retail brands surveyed participate in a loyalty program of one sort or another 137
Specialist retailers of consumer electronics are least likely to have a loyalty program 137
Proprietary loyalty programs 139
Just under a half of major retail chains in France have launched their own proprietary loyalty scheme 139
Coalition loyalty programs 139
Two coalition loyalty programs are adhered to by retailers in France 139
13.0 GEORGIA 141
Introduction 141
Retailer payment cards 142
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 142
Retailer payment cards remain comparatively few in number 142
and the few that do exist are issued and managed by the retailers themselves 142
Gift cards 143
Stored-value gift cards are also restricted to a small proportion of major retail brands 143
Retailer loyalty programs 145
Close to a third of Georgian retailers investigated are involved in a loyalty program 145
with initiatives most numerous among supermarket and hypermarket brands 145
Proprietary loyalty programs 147
Only one proprietary scheme is linked to a corresponding retailer payment card 147
Coalition loyalty programs 147
Universal Card Company owns the program that has attracted the most retailers as participants 147
14.0 GERMANY 148
Introduction 148
Retailer payment cards 149
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 149
Just over 20% of major retail brands in Germany offer a co-branded or private-label payment card 149

with over half relying upon internal provision or captive or joint venture partnerships 149
Commerz Finanz, Hanseatic Bank and Santander Consumer Bank hold the most relationships 149
with Landesbank Berlin limited to just one, albeit an important one 150
Almost all fuel retailers rely upon internal provision for the management of their payment cards 150
On both unweighted and weighted terms, Commerz Finanz is ranked first among card issuers 151
Nearly a half of retailer cards run on private payment networks in Germany… 151
…with the three main open-loop networks gaining the most via weighting 151
Fuel retail brands are most likely to have introduced their own payment card 151
… with brands operating an offline-only distribution model also above the average 151
Gift cards 155
Just over 40% of major German retailers offer a stored-value gift card 155
with initiatives for these products visible across all retailer categories 155
Retailer loyalty programs 157
Just over 60% of retail brands surveyed participate in a loyalty program of one sort or another 157
Supermarket brands are least likely to adhere to a loyalty program 157
Proprietary loyalty programs 159
Just under a third of major retail chains in Germany have launched their own proprietary loyalty scheme 159
Coalition loyalty programs 159
Five coalition loyalty programs are adhered to by retailers in Germany 159
Bertelsmann Group operates two separate loyalty programs in Germany 159
although PAYBACK has more members than both combined 160
15.0 GREECE 161
Introduction 161
Retailer payment cards 162
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 162
Co-branded or private-label payment cards are available from over a quarter of major retail brands 162
with the majority of these organised through external card issuers 162
albeit with one major scheme managed by a captive card issuer 163
In weighted terms, private-label cards outflank both MasterCard and Visa 164
Payment card schemes are concentrated in five retailer categories 165
Gift cards 167
Less than 20% of major retailers in Greece offer a stored-value gift card 167
Retailer loyalty programs 168
All loyalty programs are linked to either a payment card or a loyalty card with no payment function 168
60% of retailers employing an offline-only distribution model are involved in this arena 168
Proprietary loyalty programs 170
and more than 40% of all major retail chains have launched their own proprietary loyalty scheme 170
Coalition loyalty programs 170
All five coalition loyalty schemes in Greece are managed by financial institutions 170
16.0 HUNGARY 172
Introduction 172
Retailer payment cards 173
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 173
Retailer payment cards have been launched by less than 20% of major retail brands in Hungary 173
with most organised internally or through an external card issuer 173
GE's Budapest Bank is the leading issuer in both unweighted and weighted terms 174
with MasterCard overtaking private networks in the weighted analysis 175
Fuel distributors feature by far the highest provision rate as a category 176
Gift cards 178
A half of retailers offering gift cards are either fashion brands or supermarket / hypermarket chains 178
Retailer loyalty programs 180
The rate of involvement in loyalty programs exceeds 50% of major retail brands investigated 180

with specialist retailers of sporting goods the most likely to be active in this domain 180
Proprietary loyalty programs 182
Eight retail brands have linked their proprietary program to a corresponding payment card 182
Coalition loyalty programs 182
Hungary hosts as many as eight different coalition loyalty programs featuring retailers as participants 182
17.0 IRELAND 184
Introduction 184
Retailer payment cards 185
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 185
Co-branded or private-label payment cards are not widely offered by major Irish retailers 185
and just three of the 12 in evidence are organised through external card issuers 185
One department store and six fuel brands issue and manage their own cards internally 186
The use of Visa for Tesco's co-branded card makes it the leading network in weighted terms 187
Payment card provision is ubiquitous among fuel brands 188
Gift cards 190
The penetration rate for gift cards is comfortably ahead of that for other types of retailer payment card 190
Retailer loyalty programs 192
Loyalty program involvement is not especially common among major retailers in Ireland 192
and is entirely absent from three retailer categories 192
18.0 ITALY 194
Introduction 194
Retailer payment cards 195
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 195
Less than 20% of major retail brands in Italy operate their own co-branded or private-label payment card . 195
with three major external card issuers involved in the majority of relationships 195
BNP Paribas is involved in both joint ventures found in the retail payment card sector 196
By weighted share of partnerships, Findomestic is ranked first 197
Roughly 30% of retailer cards run on private payment networks in Italy… 198
…while MasterCard surpasses both private network and Visa cards when shares are weighted 198
Fuel retail brands are most likely to have introduced their own payment card 198
… while no retailer operating exclusively online has introduced its own payment card 198
Gift cards 201
Just over a quarter of major Italian retailers offer a stored-value gift card 201
with initiatives for these products visible across almost all retailer categories 201
Retailer loyalty programs 203
Over half of retail brands surveyed participate in some form of loyalty program 203
Specialist retailers of consumer electronics are least likely to have a loyalty program 203
Proprietary loyalty programs 205
Over a third of major retail chains in Italy have launched their own proprietary loyalty scheme 205
Coalition loyalty programs 205
Two coalition loyalty programs count retail brands among their members in Italy 205
Nectar is the only coalition scheme to feature either a linked payment card or a loyalty card 205
19.0 LATVIA 207
Introduction 207
Retailer payment cards 208
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 208
Only five major retail brands in Latvia offer co-branded or private-label payment cards 208
although both debit and rechargeable prepaid cards are in evidence as well as credit cards 208
Nordea Finance is used as an external card issuer by three retailers 209
Only three sectors host retailers offering co-branded or private network payment cards 210
Gift cards 212

Stored-value gift cards are offered by over a third of major retail brands surveyed in Latvia 212
Retailer loyalty programs 213
and over two thirds participate in a loyalty program of one sort or another 213
with involvement visible across retailers in nine out of ten categories 213
Proprietary loyalty programs 215
Five proprietary programs are linked to a corresponding payment card 215
Coalition loyalty programs 215
Three retailers participate in the BalticMiles scheme 215
19.0 LITHUANIA 216
Introduction 216
Retailer payment cards 217
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 217
Seven major retail brands in Lithuania offer a co-branded or private-label payment card 217
with most products issued and managed by the retailers themselves 217
Nordea Finance and SEB are active as external issuers of retailer payment cards in Lithuania 218
Apart from private-label products, Maestro, MasterCard and Routex all feature as payment card brands 219
Only three out of the ten retail categories in Lithuania feature any sort of payment card provision 220
Gift cards 221
14 major retail brands in Lithuania offer gift cards to their customers 221
Retailer loyalty programs 223
Loyalty program involvement is high with over a half of retailers having created a proprietary scheme 223
and with initiatives visible across all retailer categories and distribution models 223
Proprietary loyalty programs 225
Six retailers running their own loyalty programs have linked it to a corresponding payment card 225
Coalition loyalty programs 225
Three coalition loyalty programs exist but few major retail brands participate in them 225
21.0 NETHERLANDS 226
Introduction 226
Retailer payment cards 227
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 227
Enthusiasm for co-branded and private-label payment cards remains muted among Dutch retailers 227
with a narrow majority of initiatives in evidence managed internally by the retailers themselves 227
Among external card issuers, LaSer Cards is the leader in both unweighted and weighted terms 228
ahead of both International Card Services and Santander Consumer Finance 228
Over a half of retailer cards in the Netherlands are private-label products 229
Payment card initiatives are most numerous among fuel distributors and offline-only retailers 230
Gift cards 231
Gift cards are only absent from the category of books and media product retailers 231
Retailer loyalty programs 234
The rate of involvement in coalition loyalty programs is higher than that for proprietary schemes 234
with health and beauty chains the most likely to be active in these fields 234
Proprietary loyalty programs 236
Just over a quarter of major retail chains in the Netherlands have launched a proprietary loyalty scheme 236
Coalition loyalty programs 236
EuroClix has more than seven times as many participating retailers than Air Miles 236
22.0 NORWAY 238
Introduction 238
Retailer payment cards 239
Credit, debit and prepaid cards 239
Co-branded or

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