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Card linked offers are increasingly being used by merchants and consumers alike. Indeed, a group of early adopters have already started using card linked offers on a weekly or monthly basis, with usage expected to be constant and universal within just a few years. But a lack of standards is holding them back from the big time.

Cue The CardLinx Association, a standards body that includes such charter members as First Data, Bank of America, MasterCard, Microsoft, Living Social, Deem, Cardspring, Affinity Networks and Linkable. The idea: move card linked offers from being a series of disjointed offer schemes to a highly used platform.

Speaking at Money 2020 today in Las Vegas, Bank of America SVP of Ecommerce Jason Blackhurst noted that many merchants are already seeing a strong ROI on card linked offer programs. The issue: resolve their complexity and add standards.

“We expect seamless,” added First Data SVP Dom Morea. “That’s critical.”

Another issue: get rid of the stigma associated with card linked offered. Gift cards no longer have a stigma, noted Living Social CFO John Bax. “You can use them any time. But you don’t want to pull out a Groupon or Living Social offer on a first date.”

To be successful, a number of things have to happen, noted another speaker. You have to have standards; it has to be promoted via word of mouth; the big technology companies have to adopt it to reduce friction between them; and retailers need to track inventory and use it as a strategic tool overall.

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