4 reasons why you should launch a Card-linked Loyalty Program

For many years, social media has been rated as the most preferred marketing channel by marketing leaders. This year, for the first time, card-linked loyalty programs have overtaken the coveted top position, according to the 2021 Digital Commerce Annual Industry Study.


Of the respondents, which consisted of Small to Mid-sized organisations and larger enterprises:

1. 35% indicated that their card-linking programs grew by more than 100%.

2. Two-thirds of respondents estimate that merchants’ advertising budget devoted to card linked programs is between 5% and 50%.


Card-linked programs can be used to support a variety of loyalty programs (e.g. points, cashback, tiered) whilst offering up some unique advantages compared with non-card-linked alternatives.


Here are four reasons why you should consider a card-linked program as an opportunity to drive a more targeted, personalised and profitable approach to customer communications and loyalty.


1. Unparalleled consumer behaviour insights

Card-linked programs allow businesses to understand their customers spend behaviour through their transaction histories. There are two aspects that makes this data so powerful, firstly, that businesses can gain in-depth insights and accurately measure the lifetime value of their customers.


Secondly, card-linked programs allow businesses to paint a 360 view of consumer behaviour across all spend categories, not just for a select merchant. Brands can understand the true extent of customer loyalty by knowing whether their customers also buy from their competitors and if so, how often.


Through card-linking data, merchant offers can be served in a very data-driven way – to the right customer, at the right time, and through the right channel, based on their past behaviours.


2. Reach new customers

While loyalty programs are traditionally associated with retaining existing customers, card-linking presents an opportunity to target new customers and convert them into loyal ones. Card-linked loyalty programs are a win-win for merchants, consumers and businesses who want to issue cards.


Card issuers can enhance their payment offering with a rewards ecosystem, by partnering with retail brands through to membership-based associations. Merchants who join the rewards ecosystem benefit from the brand affinity of a larger loyalty program with customers who have already opted into their marketing programs. Consumers have greater choice and flexibility to rewards that are easily accessible with the tap of their cards.


3. Compatible with in-store redemption

The beauty of card-linked programs is that there is no need for merchants to integrate or upgrade their existing point of sale system. By leveraging prepaid, debit or credit cards, products that consumers are already familiar with and own, card-linked programs create a seamless experience for customers to shop in-store, not just online.


4. Top-of-wallet experience for customers

More than ever, consumers are becoming fatigued with the overwhelming array of payment methods and loyalty programs. The combination of attractive, easily redeemable offers and frictionless payments will set your loyalty program apart from the rest. The great news is that Australians overwhelmingly prefer debit (and prepaid) card payments over cash and credit cards. Being able to make purchases and redeem loyalty points with a single tap of the card or click of a button via your app or digital wallet is now the golden standard for a seamless payment experience.


How Novatti can help

As a Principal Visa Partner and Issuer, Novatti provides end-to-end solutions for enterprises and fintechs looking to launch branded rewards and loyalty card programs to their customers.


With the choice of reloadable prepaid cards or single load gift cards, plastic and/or digital cards, we work with a variety of loyalty platforms and consumer brands to enable customised card-linked solutions.


Get in touch with our experienced team in Card Issuing, who can conduct a payment review for your business.

Leo Borovilas

Leo Borovilas

Sales General Manager - Card Issuing

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