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Card-linked offers 101

In an increasingly digital, convenient, personalized, and contactless world, the rising popularity of card-linked offers (CLOs) should be no surprise.  Financial institutions and brands risk losing wallet share by not integrating CLOs into their increasingly digital, convenient, personalized, and contactless strategies. This post will review what CLOs are, how they can benefit everyone in their ecosystem, from financial institutions to brands to consumers, and the latest innovations in the industry.  

So, what exactly are card-linked offers, and how do they work? 

The truth is, CLOs are exactly what they sound like. They are digital offers from brands and retailers linked directly to a payment provider like a debit or credit card. The offer is redeemed by the consumer when the linked payment card is used at the point-of-sale. 

CLOs work like traditional marketing coupons and are merchant funded. For merchants and retailers, CLOs help build brand loyalty by using digital channels where new customers spend their time. With CLOs, merchants are able to create marketing experiences that attract new customers before a customer even comes into the store or website.

For payment providers, CLOs create a new line of revenue by increasing usage and engagement with customers. The digital format of CLOs allows payment providers to stay ahead of the innovation curve by adding this feature to their user interface. Research shows that all customers, especially Millennials and Gen Z value CLOs and seek them out, enabling payment providers to increase engagement on channels customers prefer and increasing revenue through greater transaction volume.

For consumers, CLOs are an easy way to access offers from brands they love and trust. CLOs offer consumers a frictionless way to get rewarded with cash or loyalty benefits. Consumers can access offers on any mobile device or website. By simply registering a payment card on a CLO platform, consumers can redeem CLOs securely and enjoy surprise-and-delight moments when receiving cash back notifications.

What’s the latest in CLOs?

You may have experienced CLOs through your payment provider, but there are different approaches and different innovations in CLO platforms that are further transforming the industry. Early versions of CLOs (that still exist) require users to “activate” offers in order to receive them and appear as long lists for users to scroll through to find one they might be interested in.

Dosh’s innovative approach to CLOs eliminates the friction of activation. It automatically applies the offer to any user, which in turn creates a special surprise and delight moment for shoppers when they get alerted to the reward at the point of sale. Dosh has also created a personalized and engaging experience for shoppers that visually represents each brand and merchant in their unique way.


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