In Card-Linking, Member Q&As, Online-to-Offline
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Empyr powers Yelp's Cash Back Program

Jon Carder, Empyr CEO talks to CardLinx about how their O2O offering is being used by Yelp and whether this partnership portends more card-linking programs by large tech companies in 2017.

How did the partnership with Yelp come about?

I met one of the Yelp team members at a conference at a time when Yelp was really thinking hard about online-to-offline, so there was immediate interest in Empyr’s O2O platform.

What was challenges in getting Yelp’s card-linked offer program off the ground?

Empyr has made launching a card-linked offers program on Visa, Mastercard and American Express very straightforward and fast. Usually partners can integrate within 4 to 6 weeks. Yelp wanted to do a very robust integration so it took a little bit longer, but not by much. They continue to add more and more product integrations and marketing each month, and the program continues to grow at a rapid rate.

What are some goals for Yelp’s Cash Back rewards program?

Yelp wants to add value for both consumers and businesses. They’ve been able to delight users because Empyr has thousands of merchants offering 7 to 10 percent cash back that Yelp can offer to their users. Being able to save money is a great value add for people who are already looking for a local business. And of course, users love how easy card-linked offers are to redeem—just link your card to Yelp and buy from any of the merchants to earn cash back. For businesses, Yelp has been able to offer this new way to attract and retain customers – and clearly attribute which customers found them on Yelp – which helps them see the value of Yelp to their bottom line.

How does this partnership pave the way to building a $10 trillion online-to-offline (O2O) industry?

Card-linking is one way companies can generate revenue from O2O commerce. As we put it with Yelp, there is no silver bullet that will solve all of online-to-offline commerce. But a card-linked offers program powered by Empyr is a great tool to use as you tap into the massive O2O space.  

Where do you see the greatest O2O opportunities in 2017?

We are getting interest from all the major tech companies and I think you’ll see many more large programs like Yelp launching this year. It feels like card-linked offers is hitting a tipping point where companies of all shapes and sizes are starting to seriously consider running CLOs. And platforms like Empyr are ready to help them get up and running quickly and generating serious revenue.

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