Card Linking

Unlocking customer engagement: the power of card-linking in loyalty programs

Customer loyalty programs often need to catch up in engaging customers. However, with card-linking, retailers and merchants can design more effective loyalty programs that could drive more engagement. See how card-linking could be a solution to help businesses make their loyalty program stand out and increase customer engagement.

In today's environment, cashback rewards and discounts are highly influential on shopping decisions. Businesses try to capture this influence by creating loyalty programs. Customers are able to shop at the places they enjoy and earn special deals and discounts while they shop. When loyalty programs perform, it's a win-win situation for both businesses and customers.  Businesses can increase customer engagement, and customers can strike great deals.

However, most loyalty programs fail not only to drive sales and engagement but to attract sign-ups. Why? It often has to do with three main issues:

  1. Complex onboarding
  2. Lack of personalization
  3. Lack of meaningful rewards

If customers are hit with these three factors, they will not sign up. Everyone can remember a loyalty program that required too many boxes of information that asked for an email address, phone number and a random member ID - the list goes on and on. On top of that, the rewards that customers can earn may be too complicated to redeem. What exactly is 5,000 points? And if each purchase is 1 point, is it really that attractive to customers?

Card-linking to make loyalty programs more attractive

A potential solution is card-linking.

What is card-linking? Card-linking is the process of connecting a card (like a Visa or Mastercard) to a loyalty program. Customer purchase data can be securely tracked to know when a reward criteria has been met. Once met and verified, the cardholder can receive the reward back on their card.

Let's see how card-linking solutions can change the way businesses approach their loyalty program.

With card-linking, customers can quickly onboard into the program. How quickly? Well, with Olive's card-linking platform, merchants can enroll their customers in as little as 10 seconds. The best part of card-linked programs is that they are simple and easy for retailers and merchants to set up. There is minimal need for additional build and employee training on the retailer’s and merchant's end.

Designing a card-linking loyalty program

Card-linking programs can be more flexible and adaptable to retailers' needs. Retailers and merchants can determine their own reward criteria for the loyalty program. They can also keep control over how offers operate and choose from a variety of reward types - from set amounts to percentages, purchase minimum, frequency offers and more.

For example, customers can earn a 3% cashback on purchases over $100. They can also allow customers to get $5 back on every fifth purchase.

Retailers also have other tools at their disposal with a card-linking program. With Olive’s card-linking portal, for instance, retailers can enable roundups on every purchase. These roundups can be put back on the card or put towards a new purchase, and more. Roundups linked to financial goals drive retention and make the program more meaningful for customers.

Moreover, Olive’s program allows for matching. This means merchants could run promotions where they (or employers or stores) can match roundups or cashback rewards towards a cause, like a non-profit or charity. This also builds a stronger relationship between customers and businesses.

Finally, cashback rewards can be converted into cashforward rewards - whereby cashback rewards become contributions towards a goal - perhaps a savings goal, purchase goal or a dedicated donation.

In short, merchants can be creative with how they design their loyalty program, and with card-linking, customers earn meaningful rewards that matter to them and their lives.

How can card-linking create meaningful and personalized rewards?

Providing a personalized approach for consumers is important for driving sales and engagement. The studies demonstrate this idea:

  • 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when merchant businesses offer personalized experiences;
  • 79% of consumers are more likely to shop at places that offer a loyalty program over those that don't.

Since customers are using their credit cards, any rewards they earn can be directly put into savings, investing and even donation goals. Customers can also choose where their rewards go. Saving for a vacation? No problem. Investing for retirement? No problem. Want to donate more to your favorite charity? No problem.

In short, card-linking can make loyalty programs stand out.

How Olive can help

With 80% of loyalty program owners planning on significantly increasing their investments in customer loyalty over the next few years, why not make it count?

Olive allows for flexible configuration options that will enable businesses to reward new and returning consumers. Olive is here to converge goal alignment between businesses and customers by making it easier to implement a frictionless program that is more accessible for customers.

Whether it's implementing rounding or cashback rewards, Olive can help your loyalty program stand out.

To learn more about Olive’s card-linking solution for loyalty, visit us here.


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