Card-linked offers: an impending rewards program strategy

As the mode of purchase shifted from offline to online, we progressed from the earn and burn reward program to the affiliate model. There has been an advancement from promo codes and coupons to the cashback model. Then card-linked offers emerged and gained popularity, as they provide an effortless mechanism to avail rewards while customers check out. 

Card-linked offers need a strong technical infrastructure for not only integrating merchant funded offers with a seamless redemption system, but also a mechanism for tracking user transactions. A strong data security measure must be in place with consent for tracking customer transactions. 

Pillars of an effective card-linked reward program

Companies like Pulse iD provide a bank agnostic platform with a merchant portal that empowers them to create offers, track rewards, and analyze transaction data without complex integrations. These platforms encapture the complete user experience by embedding targeted and personalized offers upon integration within any financial institution website or application. Such technological advanced platforms ensure that as soon as a customer spends at a merchant, they are eligible for reward points or cashbacks. Additionally, it allows merchants to send push notifications or SMS to users about available or upcoming offers to celebrate their spend, thereby driving user engagement and customer satisfaction. More number of transactions translates into higher revenue from partner transactions, and greater customer retention at lower acquisition costs.

While using the best technological platform serves as the foundation pillar, it is also important to offer customers seamless reward activity. Card-linked solutions will monitor transactions, deliver notifications throughout the purchase journey, and simplify the redemption process for a better customer engagement.

Success stories

One of the most successful rewards platforms with card-linked offers in Asia-Pacific, the Visa Offers eXchange (VOX), has been executed by Visa in conjunction with Pulse iD. By leveraging Pulse iD’s cutting-edge technology solution, the Catalyst platform, and supplementing it with segmentation and personalization algorithms, VOX empowers merchants to provide customized offers to Visa cardholders based on their spend data. The platform helps merchants and banks digitize their customer experiences and provides businesses with smarter, data-driven ways to build revenue. On the consumer side, it took the friction out of redeeming offers and coupons. Consumers are elated to receive the right offers at the right time with a seamless redemption experience.

Similarly, such card-linked models can be applied to business card holder groups. Users receive rewards as a statement credit for qualifying purchases on hotels, dining, car rentals, gas as well as business products like Dropbox and UP BizSave. It is a straightforward program that doesn’t need users to activate the deals. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything, including the way we interact with technology or make a purchase, it has become important for companies and merchants to think out of the box as innovative solutions are available for bridging the gap between card linking and loyalty programs. With the future being all about strengthening the associations between brands and customers, card-linked offers seems to be a revolutionary strategy that improves customer experience and facilitates brands to understand their customers altogether. With this vision, the brands need to constantly reshape their loyalty propositions, to adopt or revolutionize technical capabilities for resetting customer expectations with digital progressions and provide a seamless shopping experience.

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