Headquarters: Cincinnati, OH
Category: Privately-held startup
Industry: White Label Publisher
How does your company fit into the card-linking or online-to-offline commerce ecosystems?
Payce harnesses the value that card-linking and online-to-offline commerce offers to help members reach their personal financial goals, not just to accumulate points or rewards. We provide a bespoke platform to partners across many verticals that allows members to earn hard-dollar rewards at thousands of merchants online, in-stores, and at restaurants. Payce automatically directs each member’s earnings toward outcomes such as paying bills, building savings, funding activities, or donating to valued causes.
Who are you trying to reach?
We attract consumers interested in achieving their financial goals through the cash back they earn through everyday spending, but in the process we also reach and benefit:
- Participating merchants, who can instill loyalty, drive effective engagement, and overcome the fatigue and diminishing returns associated with incentives that promote single-purchase behavior by providing rewards that help consumers achieve their personal goals.
- White-label partners, who can deepen relationships with their existing consumers and supporters by providing a no-cost, high-value program.
- With philanthropic partners, Payce can help organizations generate supplemental donations through the cash back generated by their supporters.
- For financial services partners, Payce provides a default prevention and paydown-acceleration tool that drives the entire customer lifecycle and engenders good will.
How will your company approach online-to-offline commerce that is new or different?
The current fragmented approach to encouraging online and offline purchases is cumbersome and confusing, which creates a negative incentive for engagement. Payce aims to break down barriers to drive a more cohesive approach to incenting consumer behavior by, for example, leveraging card linking to identify and track both online and offline purchases, and working with our partners to recognize consumers’ omnichannel shopping behaviors and rationalize the incentives offered for online and for offline purchase.
What are some insights or challenges in implementing of your solution?
When you introduce a new approach, existing parties often want to see proof of concept before they engage with the program. Because of that inherent tendency, it took more time than expected to develop a partnership with a loyalty agency. We ultimately met and partnered with Affinity Solutions through CardLinx, and since cementing our collaboration, we have achieved outcomes that were critical to our success.
As a start-up, we took a non-traditional approach to funding the company. Rather than leveraging traditional venture-capital sources, we chose instead to bring in individual strategic investors. Our financing partners are deeply committed to the value proposition of the business and have both the financial interest and the networks needed to rapidly scale the business. It required a different type of effort to cultivate those investor relationships, but they have and will continue to provide us with significant strategic advantages.
What are some new projects for this year?
One of our primary goals is to reduce friction in the consumer experience, which will lead to more meaningful engagement. A big component of that approach is rationalizing the shopping and loyalty experience, which is clearly a long-term play. Additionally, we are expanding our payment capabilities with a new partner to help members achieve more diverse goals. We also plan to launch our first mobile application in the next year.
How will the online-to-offline commerce industry develop over the next five years?
Consumers are demanding more fluidity and consistency across their online and offline experiences. I believe we will see continued evolution toward breaking down the barriers between the online and offline worlds – allowing seamless shopping, purchase, and pickup or delivery of merchandise. Programs and merchants that fail to develop cohesive experiences for consumers run the risk of becoming obsolete.
Is there anything else you would like CardLinx members to know?
Two of the cornerstones of Payce are optionality and directionality. Our highly customized platform is flexible and nimble enough to be leveraged across countless industries to achieve various business needs and help consumers achieve financial goals, including:
- Paying down financial instruments
- Paying healthcare, education, housing or utility costs
- Funding a daily commute, a higher education, or other goal
- Saving for retirement, education, healthcare or the purchase of a home
- Donating to charitable organizations and causes
We are expanding rapidly into new verticals and believe we have only touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of the potential applications. We welcome collaborations and partnerships with CardLinx members, as we recognize that the networking and collaboration opportunities provide by the CardLinx organization over the past few years were instrumental as we built and launched Payce. We encourage all members to take advantage of the wealth of resources and knowledge in the organization.
Fidel API is currently live in the UK and Ireland. We are opening up for the US, Australia and Nordics as early as Q1 next year, with many other regions to follow shortly thereafter.