Synchology Brings Loyalty Rewards Back to Debit

Jump Visa Prepaid Debit CardChicago-based Synchology has launched its Branded Payments Platform, a “white label-ready” banking platform and Jump Visa® prepaid debit card to fill in the loyalty space that financial institutions largely vacated after the enactment of the Durbin Amendment.

The Durbin Amendment, part of the Dodd-Frank Act, capped the fees that financial institutions could charge for debit transactions. With the revenue restricted, financial institutions have largely eliminated the rewards program for debit cards, explained Doug Bobenhouse, Synchology president and co-founder.

The Jump Visa prepaid card is issued by First Bank & Trust, Brookings, S.D.

According to Bobenhouse, a prepaid debit card appeals to consumers who prefer to use debit and those who have a hard time qualifying for a traditional credit card, particularly younger consumers.

According to a Javelin Strategy & Research study, 13 percent of adults in the U.S. used prepaid financial services in 2011, up from 11 percent in 2010, supplanting checking and credit card transactions in many instances. According to Javelin, 88 percent of consumers maintained checking accounts in 2011, down from 92 percent in 2010.

Consumers typically pay additional fees for a prepaid card, and the Jump Card is no different. Users pay $5 a month for the card, or may opt for a $50 annual fee. However, the fees are much lower than those of similar cards, according to Bobenhouse. “There are never any other fees. Other prepaid cards have significant fee schedules.

“The Jump Prepaid Visa Card offers an engaging user experience,” Bobenhouse added. “It brings the user a lot of financial management tools.”

The card offers users points redeemable for various products with various redemption values. For example, 3,000 points earns the user a $25 gift card; 5,000 points earns $50 in credit, and 15,000 points earns a $10 credit.

Through the payments platform, the card enables the cardholder to file and manage transactions. Though many other payment cards enable customers to track spending by industry-defined categories (e.g., restaurants, fuel, retail), Jump Card users can also categorize purchases by categories that they define. For example, they can separate fine dining and fast food, rather than just having a single restaurant category. They can also create folders, tag transactions, and upload additional information and photos (e.g., photos of major purchases for insurance purposes).

The Branded Payments Platform is a white-label ready solution, featuring APIs for custom brand integrations. Brands can offer their customers all the features and value of The Jump Card and have their co-branded card and consumer experience program available in less than eight weeks, complete with brand-specific reward integration.

Partner brands will benefit from data offered from purchase transactions, Bobenhouse said. “We provide our partner brands with a revenue-positive loyalty offering coupled with valuable and actionable transaction trend data. The Branded Payments Platform illuminates audience group spending and behavioral data and trends.”

Currently the card is being promoted through social media and affiliate channels. Bobenhouse expects to issue 50,000 cards by the end of the year.

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