So you have a loyalty programme and you are pretty happy with it. You reach your pre-set KPI’s year-on-year and the boss is happy. 20% engaged customer base, increase on incremental spend, customer satisfaction and a fair amount of new customers month-on-month.

That is some achievement, the problems alluded to in a previous article regarding the ‘two-step process,’ businesses must constantly battle with customer experience, enticing rewards and improving technology to grow loyalty programmes. However, it is time for a ramp-up in the industry... something to really shake things up.

Card-linking is now here! Loyalty operators no longer need to accept the status quo. Customers no longer need to be weighed down by numerous plastic cards. Businesses can now streamline the customer experience and customers can now receive their rewards with zero effort!

What is it?

The U.S. has been an early adopter of card-linking and we have seen some big players take on the challenge - including AT&T, Macy’s, Enterprise and Whole Foods.

Card-linking allows consumers to link credit or debit cards to digital coupons, loyalty programmes or mobile wallets. When consumers pay with their registered card, the discount or loyalty benefit is automatically applied without the consumer having to use a paper coupon, QR code, digital coupon or promotion code.

Is it any good?

Data from the 2016 Annual Card-Linking Industry Survey showed that 50% of respondent businesses noted that card-linking transactions have grown by at least 50% over the past 12 months. As consumers have become more comfortable with technology and smartphones, their appetite for card-linking offers and loyalty programmes have grown congruently.

Empyr CEO Jon Carder said he could see 20 million active consumers building a $10 billion annual business –with $750 million in revenue going to participating card-linking companies. “It is a network effect,” he said. “The more participants, the more consumers you have, the more revenue you get.”

Data from the UK Cards Association showed that in 2016, 78% of all retail spending was made by card. Industry experts predict that debit cards are on track to become king in 2021 to become the U.K.’s most frequently used payment method (according to a new report from Payments U.K., the trade association for the payments industry).

How do I get it?

It is time for the U.K. to embrace card payments and what they can do for consumers. Luckily, the Fidel API links all payment types to provide instant reward for the consumer, all in one place.

With little effort, businesses can now supercharge loyalty programmes by simply offering the consumer the easiest way to participate. The Fidel API takes a short 15 minute integration, with a few lines of code.

The simple SDKs can be embedded onto any website or app to enable a seamless customer experience and are tailored to any programme, retailer or merchant. Set up an account to see for yourself!