Unlocking the Benefits of Card Linked Services
Sravanthi Pulijala
May 8, 2023

Card-linking technology is basically linking a customer’s credit card/debit card information to a loyalty program.

Card-linked platforms have direct relationships with the major card networks (such as Visa, MasterCard and Amex) and allows retailers to set-up offers which can be linked to a consumer’s credit or debit card.

When a cardholder spends in-store or online with a participating merchant using their registered card, the offer (such as cashback or points earn) is automatically triggered and applied without them having to also scan their membership card.

Why card linked services?

Card linked services simplifies the process of providing transparency and evidence of how rewards like cash back, loyalty points are given to customers in real time. Using card-linking technology, individual transactions are tracked via the customer’s payment card number, so their credit or debit card essentially becomes their loyalty card too. They need not carry a separate loyalty card.

Card linked services are beneficial to customers to earn reward points, to get real time notifications and to help them to track their spending and manage their budgets more effectively.

Business can use Card linked services for tracking customer’s transactions and can provide valuable insights about customer’s shopping and spending habits. Businesses can understand their customers’ behaviours and use this data for better segmentation and targeting.

How card linked services work?

Card linking services is a three-step process Enrolment, Card Linking, Identification of Qualified Transactions.

  1. Customers must link their payment card to the relevant loyalty or rewards platform. Card networks authenticates and confirms the Enrolment.
  2. When customers link their cards, they give permission for the loyalty program to gain insights about how they spend their money.
  3. The card networks makes a file of all the qualified transactions and sends to the Loyalty Platforms.
  4. The Loyalty Platforms generates the rewards.

Types of Rewards programs:

  • Points based loyalty programs:

    Customers earn points based on their spending and can redeem those points for rewards, such as discounts, free          merchandise, or other perks.

  • Tiered loyalty programs:

        Businesses often rank membership into groups depending on certain metrics like sales or engagement. These customer        rewards programs give customers a goal. The higher their tier, the more exclusive and better rewards they’ll receive. Typical          offers such as exclusive discounts, free shipping, priority customer service, or early access to new products.

  • Paid Loyalty Program:

        In this loyalty program customers require to pay a fee to participate. In exchange for the fee, customers receive additional         benefits like free delivery. Example : Amazon.

  • Value-based loyalty programs:

       It involves donating a percentage of purchases to charity or welfare programs. They offer multiple options for different         charities to choose from or have one that genuinely aligns with customers’ values.

Top reward platforms:

⦁ Swagbucks

⦁ Rakuten (E-bates)

⦁ Honey

⦁ My Points

⦁ Drop

⦁ Fetch Rewards

⦁ Inbox Dollars

⦁ Survey Junkie

How secure is card linked services ?

Card linked services are secured. Card-linked loyalty programs don’t store any card details and they don’t have access to customer’s bank accounts.

Debit and credit card companies such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express send data to secured card-linking providers, who are PCI compliant and use a secure API to collect user data and transfer the relevant information between the merchant, card issuer and customer.

Role of location information in business strategy:

When a transaction is made, details like merchant id, transaction data, Location of transaction are captured. Location data places a significant role in generating rewards.

  • Data Analytics: Location data can be used for data analytics, providing businesses with insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and trends.
  • Targeted Offers: Location IDs can help businesses provide targeted offers and promotions to customers based on their location.
  • Real-time Engagement: Location IDs enable businesses to engage with customers in real-time, providing them with relevant offers and promotions when they are in the vicinity of their stores or locations. Businesses can use locations to trigger offers and promotions when a customer enters or exits a specific area.
  • Multi-channel Engagement: Location IDs can be used to engage with customers across multiple channels, including mobile apps, email, social media, and more.

Benefits of Card linked Services:

  • Ease Of Use:

Customers are more likely to engage with a loyalty program if it is easy to use. Card linking technology and rewards can help you increase customer acquisition, retention and engagement.

It’s as simple as: link card — start spending — get rewarded, regardless of whether a transaction happens in-store or online.

  • Higher Customer Retention:

Businesses can understand their customers’ behavior's and use this data for better segmentation and targeting.

  • Cost-effective:

Card linked services are often more cost-effective for businesses than traditional marketing methods.

  • Increased revenue:

Customers likes incentives and rewards. Card linked services can help businesses attract new customers and increase revenue from existing customers.

  • Data insights:

Card linked services provide businesses with valuable data insights, such as customer spending habits and preferences.

New Innovations in Card linked Services:

1. Crypto currency:

Crypto currency can be given as cash-back rewards. Users can have easy entry into investing in this digital currency. Cryptocurrency can appreciate, be traded, and used as collateral on a loan, or be withdrawn and spent.

2.  AI:

AI can be used to analyse a customer's spending habits and preferences, and to provide personalized recommendations for relevant offers and discounts.

3. Internet of Things (IoT):

The IoT can be used to link smart devices, such as wearables or smart home devices, to a customer's loyalty program account.

4. Beacon Technology:

Beacon technology is used to send targeted offers and promotions to customers when they are in the proximity of a participating merchant.


Card-linked Services offer Card-Linked Marketing to attract new customers to the bank and has a unique ability to drive incremental spend and reduce account attrition. Banks can experience these returns in a way that also creates value for both their cardholder customers as well as their business customers.

Card-linking is at its tipping point, with more traditional retailers starting to complement their traditional digital marketing channels with card-linked technology to drive in-store and online sales.

We hope you found our blog post informative. If you have any project inquiries or would like to discuss your data and analytics needs, please don't hesitate to contact us at We're here to help! Thank you for reading.
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