Card-linked Offers: Banyan Enables Banks and Merchants To Leverage Data and Stand Out in a Sea of Sameness

Banyan provides banks, fintechs, hotels, and merchants with an efficient data collaboration infrastructure to enable more accurate and efficient matching of merchants and bank card transaction data. By bringing organizations together in partnership, Banyan’s platform powers a better shared customer experience.  

With Banyan’s data infrastructure, merchants can seamlessly and securely monetize their precision receipt data. This unlocks powerful insights and new performance marketing opportunities – especially in specific channels like Facebook and Google where social media influencers and other partnerships can facilitate new customer acquisition and revenue.  

For retailers, monetizing data also frees up more marketing dollars. By working with banks, fintechs, and their partners within card-linked offer platforms, Banyan helps its clients more effectively gain access to item-level transaction data, enabling them to create more differentiated products and experiences within their platforms. The end result is an increasing customer base for all partners involved in the collaboration

Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Eric Dean, Head of Platform Partnerships for Banyan, about leveraging card-linked offers, driving differentiation with data, and building successful partnerships.  


A 2.0 Opportunity for Card-linked Offers 

Banyan works with best-in-class merchants, banks, fintechs, and service providers in the customer loyalty space, helping them create ongoing value and a preference with their customers. Integration with Banyan’s platform and services offers improved accuracy, efficiency, and precision for Banyan’s partners as they design and deliver better products, marketing messages, and customer experiences. This integration ushers in a “2.0 version” for card-linked offers, driving growth for banks and merchants within the space. 

For banks and retailers, this long-standing channel — card-linked offers — has been a successful and viable path. Both partners receive exposure and, often, merchants can enjoy lower effort when scaling their business to reach a large loyal audience through their relationships with banks.   

What Banyan services and Banyan-supported card-linked offers can do is help them to be more precise in their targeting — focusing on specific categories and higher demand/higher margin items. This protects the profitability of programs for merchants while allowing for more flexibility for banks and platforms to reach merchants that otherwise may not participate in these channels. It can also help ensure continued participation in these programs because they are profitable for the merchants.  

“It’s the modernization and the 2.0 version of card-linked offers – that’s what we’re really excited about at Banyan,” says Dean. “I can vouch from the retailer side. It’s additional options and flexibility for a merchant that can help ensure profitability for this channel.” 

Leveraging Card-Linked Offers To Increase Profitability and Return 

On the retailer side, programs can be managed down to the penny. Information is drawn from collected data, allowing for targeting upfront in terms of how programs and campaigns are set up with merchants and banks working together. This focused targeting happens at the back end as well in terms of the match-back results.  

The current landscape for card-linked offers is that the offer or discount typically applies across all products sold at a brand or retailer. Some merchants have a mix of products, and some items have higher margins than others. Banyan can help ensure that marketing dollars spent within this space are on the products that are most profitable for merchants.  

Typically, the results and ultimate profitability of a card-linked offer campaign are not known until the end in terms of the merchant working with the bank. What Banyan’s services provide is more assurance up front that the campaign will be profitable. That can happen by targeting or excluding certain products or categories — even at the same time.  

“We work with grocers and pharmacies to exclude certain categories like pharmacy within their walls as well as gift cards sold in-store,” explains Dean. “Those are typically low margin or pass-through costs, so that’s something that we can help ensure the profitability for those merchant categories.” 

E-comm retailers carrying a mix of products are receptive to the idea of targeting seasonally around tent-pole events for their business, as well as excluding certain products that are loss leaders. They want ensured profitability.  

Banyan also works with some of the major banks around more targeted card loyalty and rewards programs which are usually targeted at a high-level “umbrella view” at a merchant. With Banyan services, they can be targeted to certain product categories or items that drive even more options and flexibility — for the banks and the retailers. 


Driving Differentiation with Data 

The banks and retailers Banyan works closely with want to accelerate differentiation — they want to avoid a “sea of sameness” and stand out in a competitive crowd. In a time when consumers are frequently participating in multiple loyalty programs, Banyan can assist in driving that differentiation.  

All banks want to be the primary card in consumers’ wallets, and by focusing on data, they can get closer to the top spot. Dean reports that the leading programs that Banyan observes in the marketplace are the ones that invest in better data-driven products, marketing, and experiences. This is what drives relevancy for banks, merchants, and ultimately, customers while delivering more compelling value. 

“A common question and concern we hear from the organizations we work with is how they can get their loyalty program to stand out amongst the rest,” says Dean. “It all rests within the data.”  

Leveraging existing data can inspire innovation within products, marketing, and experiences. Using Banyan’s services, organizations can better target high-value, in-demand products with higher margins within channels like card-linked offers. The result is a more competitive channel in a space where other marketing channels have had that flexibility for some time. 

Merchants have a powerful tool at their fingertips in terms of SKU-level data. Historically, understanding this data and how to monetize it has been a challenge for some organizations. Forward-thinking merchants working alongside Banyan are learning how to invest in this data.  

“We’ve discussed with major retailers across different verticals, and the light bulb is going off,” shares Dean. “They realize there is so much value internally with their own data, and precision level, item level, receipt data is going to help open up even more shopper value for their customers. This in turn sparks incremental sales and profitable sales — which is always the key drivers and goals of these merchants.” 


A Better Customer Experience Built by Collaboration 

For Dean, collaboration is key. With a background centering on partnerships, he knows that when groups come together, it is always more powerful than working separately. This perspective blends with Banyan’s. 

Bringing together merchants and banks for the modernization of card-linked offers creates incremental value for merchants, through ensured profitability and additional options alongside flexibility for banks and platform partners.  

Dean finishes, “I’m definitely excited about working together with all of those groups to help drive the next phase of card-linked offers in this space.”  

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