Illustration of a person holding a giant credit card.

Customer loyalty programs have long been promoted in e-commerce as an effective way to boost customer retention and build stronger engagement. But is the allure of the loyalty card as strong as it once was?

As inflation continues to bite, brands with well-known loyalty programs are faced with the prospect of pulling back on reward perks to save on expenses. Sephora, Red Robin, and Dunkin’ Donuts are just some of the businesses that are removing the low-hanging fruit that loyalty programs are known for, including birthday rewards and redemption thresholds. Yet removing the most tangible benefits from your program risks provoking customers’ wrath.

So, how can brands keep their loyalty programs engaging but cost-effective to manage?

Card linking technology offers brands a new spin on the traditional ‘earn and burn’ program mentality, bringing together attractive benefits with a more seamless customer experience that prioritizes convenience.

What is card-linking technology?

Card linking technology refers to a customer loyalty strategy where a customer’s chosen payment card is linked to a merchant or loyalty program account and kept on file. Card linked technology enables shoppers to receive bonus points, cashback offers, or other benefits automatically when making purchases using their linked cards, rather than having to input this information manually. This simplifies both the earning and redemption process for loyalty members, while also providing brands with actionable insights into consumer spending habits and behaviors.

Because card linking requires card details to be kept on file by the brand, they must have significant data security measures in place to keep card linking secure and avoid valuable data being lost or stolen. To link payment cards, customers must consent to data collection through the…

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