From now on, Italian consumers will be able to collect loyalty points from a new PayBack-operated coalition programme, Punti, when shopping and buying fuel with the new programme's partners nationwide. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

Continuing the company's rapid period of growth under the American Express umbrella, PayBack is continuing its internationalisation strategy with the launch of the new programme in Italy. Following Germany, Poland, India and Mexico, Italy has become the fifth country to benefit from a PayBack-operated programme, which includes high profile partner companies such as Carrefour and Esso.

The new programme boasts a strong portfolio of new partners from a range of sectors, ahead of the official launch. This includes major European retailer Carrefour, the Esso service station chain, airline Alitalia, and of course American Express as the financial partner.

The network of Punti programme partners, which will also benefit from the programme's multichannel marketing platform, is set to expand in the next few months, the company reports.

"This expansion into the third-largest economic market in Europe is a further milestone in our internationalisation strategy," said Bernhard Brugger, CEO for PayBack Europe. "Italian companies face stiff competition for customers and PayBack offers them a valuable and efficient marketing tool they can use to build customer loyalty."

In fact, according to Brugger, partner companies have a good opportunity to better understand their customers and to be able to issue personalised offers and coupons through all channels, whether they are mailshots, online, e-mail newsletters, mobile apps or in-branch service terminals.

Italian consumers will benefit from the programme by being able to rapidly earn points and enjoy a range of savings in both online and offline shops that are relevant to them.

Around 50 million customers worldwide are already collecting points with PayBack. Italian customers are known to be very keen points collectors: Some 89% of customers own a loyalty card.