More and more card-linked transactions are happening, according to the CardLinx Association’s annual card-linking industry survey. The report from February 2016 shows that card-linked transactions have grown by more than 50% in the last year.
Card-linked transactions are those in which customers link their credit cards or debit cards to digital coupons, loyalty programs, or mobile wallets. Benefits and discounts are automatically applied when consumers complete their transactions, without having to use a QR code, promo code, or actual clipped coupon.
In contrast, last year’s survey showed card-linked transactions had only grown by 10% over the previous year. Study authors said this is a sign that folks are becoming more comfortable with using their smartphones and trusting technology. As people become used to using these new technologies, they are more eager to use card-linking offers and loyalty programs.
“Card-linking has a network effect, and it is accelerating,” said CardLinx CEO Silvio Tavares. “Merchants and brands have poured more money into marketing and social media campaigns for card-linking, attracting more consumers. This in turn is bringing more payments into the industry.” Silvio said this is leading to new and more innovating platforms springing up, which make card linking even more appealing for consumers.
Key findings from the 2016 report include:
• Sixty percent of those surveyed said that card-linking could grow into a $10 billion industry
• The most popular merchant categories for card-linking rewards are restaurants, department stores, and clothing companies
Card linking makes it easier for folks to redeem discounts
Having to pull out loyalty cards, clip and carry coupons, or scan QR codes is a major hassle for many consumers. For them, it’s much easier to simply pay with their credit card, debit card, or mobile wallet, and have their rewards or discounts automatically applied.
Restaurant rewards are a popular loyalty category, with many people eager to earn dining rewards and points when they go out for a meal. Clothing stores and department stores are also early adopters of card-linking technology and popular among folks who want to use their reward cards or loyalty accounts to get more value from their purchases.
Digital wallet technology makes it easy for people to carry multiple cards on their mobile device without actually having to keep track of the physical cards. People can load rewards cards and discount cards onto their devices as well, using an app. This way if the reward card isn’t linked to the payment card, it’s still relatively simple to get the discount or reward.