Nathea Nicolay, Head of product at Sanlam Reality, the insurer’s loyalty program.
Nathea Nicolay, Head of product at Sanlam Reality, the insurer’s loyalty program.
Image: Supplied

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, we talk about the effect of online learning on loyalty programmes in SA.

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Nathea Nicolay, head of product at Sanlam Reality, the insurer’s loyalty programme.

The Covid-19 pandemic and its ensuing lockdown has forced learners around the world, those that can afford it and have access to computing tools, to learn online. Results from the latest National Income Dynamics Study shows primary school children lost 60% of the possible 198 school days due to school closures and rotational timetables. In the no-fee schools surveyed, children learnt 50%-75% less in 2020 than a normal year.

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Referencing the study, Nicolay says education is a cumulative process and so the effect on the learning trajectory of these children is likely to be felt for years to come. Some suggest SA will only be able to get back to pre-pandemic learning outcomes by 2030.

While this change has had a direct impact on learners, it has also affected how companies like Sanlam — Africa’s largest insurer — can retain their clients over time.

Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.
Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.

As such, Sanlam now offers free online supplementary education and related schooling for high school learners as a permanent benefit to over 1.6-million clients, partnering with Boston Connect and its online learning platform.

Nicolay explains the group’s rationale for incorporating education into the loyalty program, saying before Covid-19 took hold, 23% of their clients with school going children were in some way involved with online learning learning. Since then, that number has more than tripled to where over 90% of clients now have an interest in online education.

The discussion focuses on Sanlam’s investment in online education as a feature of their loyalty programme; the evolution of the group’s loyalty programme through the pandemic; ways in which companies have had to reconfigure their loyalty programmes due to changes in the economy; loyalty programmes as a tool for retaining customers; and an outlook for the sector in the future.

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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