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The top 10 banks and card-issuers that are leading the pack

If you are a bank serving consumers or a payment card issuer considering ways to drive mobile and digital engagement  while adding value for merchants, you are likely considering card-linked offers (CLO). Linking your customer’s mobile app to a payment card or mobile wallet saves consumers money, boosts retailer revenue–and drives digital loyalty all around.

The CardLinx Association is a non-profit trade group with members in 17 countries and on four continents (www.cardlinx.org). Members include Microsoft, MasterCard, UBS, Capital One, Samsung Card, to name just a few. CardLinx recently evaluated card-link programs worldwide based on four key factors:

  1. Innovation. Features that consumers and merchants care about most, including the ability to target and segment offers using spend data, location and self-service.
  2. Engagement. Consumer ease-of-use, including offer relevance and the convenience of locations where offers can be redeemed.
  3. Longevity. The length of time the program has been in market.
  4. Scale. The number of merchants and consumers participating.

Ten CLO programs rose to the top of the list. Read on to find out what these leaders are doing to stand out from the crowd.

The Top 10 CLO Programs (and what they did to make the list)

1. Rakuten (Japan)

Rakuten Super Points® is Rakuten.com’s rewards program. Launched in October 2014, the program serves up linked offers to the online marketplace’s cardholders allowing them to earn 1% back every day. Plus they get up to 20x back in points when they shop on member days, and up to 15x back when they purchase items from select merchants. Personalized offers, daily deals and express checkout round out offerings to incent its 600,000 merchants, and engage its 17 million cardholders.

2. BankAmeriDeals (USA)

BankAmeriDeals is Bank of America’s card-linked offer program. It rewards Bank of America credit and debit cardholders with cash back on purchases made every day–and makes it easy for cardholders to take advantage of savings. There’s no need to clip coupons or hunt for promo codes, and the program is built directly into BOA’s online and mobile banking app. Since August 2012 a range of retailers–restaurants, clothing stores, gas stations, etc.–have looked to this program to help make customer relationships stronger.

3. Samsung Card LINK (South Korea)

Consumers earn points while they shop and by using Samsung apps, and can then redeem them toward purchases on Samsung.com and more. With Samsung Card LINK, benefits are linked directly to the card–there’s no need for a coupon. A range of national merchants, (e.g. the Banchan) and international chains (e.g. Burger King) are included. Launched in April 2014, members earn up to 2% back in rewards points when shopping on Samsung.com–and when doing what they do every day, like downloading apps or working out.

4. Sumitomo Mitsui Card Koko-Iko! (Japan)

Koko-Iko! is a customer referral service using card linking. The service maximizes impact for affiliates by sending cardholders timely information on benefits available based on demographic, card usage, and location. Koko-Iko! allows cardholders to check in with one click at the time of store visit and earn points or cash back for qualified in-store purchases. They earn up to 18x more points or up to 8.5% cash back at participating department stores and malls. Launched in September 2016, there are 20 million cardholders and 2,500 merchants.

5. LCL CityStore (France)

CityStore is a new service provided to LCL’s personal banking customers. Customers earn rewards and discounts through its card-linked offer platform in the form of cash back from purchases through partners, which include more than 700 national and local merchants. Offers are tailored toward consumer interests. The program was developed to provide customer value, and to strengthen relationships among consumers, merchants and the financial institution.

6. Barclaycard RewardsBoost (UK)

Members of this CLO program earn thousands of Barclay Rewards every year by shopping online. They can search thousands of deals, coupons and free shipping offers; choose products from more than 700 merchants; and be rewarded for every dollar spent. More rewards are earned without extra effort–and deposited directly into their Barclay accounts. Designed to be easy for cardholders to use, the program also includes features merchants appreciate, including the ability to target offers.

7. Chase Offers (USA)

The card-linking program by Chase brings debit and credit card holders deals from places they like to shop. There’re no coupons, codes or vouchers to remember, and no registration required. Consumers choose an offer, add it to their card, and then use it to pay in stores, online or through mobile apps and wallets. Statement credits appear in seven to 14 days. Chase Offers, launched in November 2018, is tailored for customers based on interest, with more than 150 merchants nationwide participating.

8. Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards (USA)

The Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards program links offers to customers with a Wells Fargo rewards-based credit card. Launched in March 2016, cardholders redeem rewards at any Wells Fargo ATM, deposit them in a qualifying Wells Fargo checking or savings account, or apply them toward the principal balance of a qualifying Wells Fargo line or loan. They also can take advantage of options to pool rewards with other customers, gift rewards to other customers or to charity, create wish lists and more–on-the-go.

9. PostFinance (Switzerland)

The PostFinance Benefit CLO program lets customers save money on purchases in stores and online shops. Card-linking capabilities allow consumers to reserve an offer with one click. They then pay in-store or online using their PostFinance card. Notifications help assure they don’t miss an opportunity to save. PostFinance, makes  tailored offers to customer needs, including up to 30% off a range of brands that match recipients’ interests.

10. RBC Royal Bank (Canada)

RBC has two active card linked offer platforms. Dipp started in July 2018 with both Visa and MasterCard. Dipp has over fifty participating merchant locations in Toronto and plans to expand their merchant offerings. Also initially launched in Toronto, Ampli‘s key essentials partners include travel, gas, grocery, and retail merchants. Ampli supports multiple offers types, including cash and discounts.

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