A lot of different avenues have been tried to help businesses set up loyalty programs. Some have come to the trouble of setting up loyalty cards specific to the business. Others have tried to go the online route, while others try and tap into the mobile niche and create specific apps for businesses. Surprisingly one avenue that hasn’t been fully explored yet is the credit cards people use every day. And this is a method Swipely is now banking on exploiting.
Swipely originally started as a way for people to simply share their purchases. Since that time it has added features and evolved into a full-fledged loyalty program for businesses. Swipely’s system is currently being utilized by over 350 businesses in San Francisco, Boston, and New York. The way the system I works is based off a person’s credit card history. With this information, businesses can have access to information such as a person’s last visit, the average amount that they spend and even which customers are connected with them across social media. Equipped with this information, businesses can target specific consumers with offers tied to their previous purchase or even send them an offer if they haven’t returned to the store for an extended period of time.
And basing their system off credit card history is what Swipely believes makes it such a strong loyalty program. Rather than sign up for a separate card, keep track of various coupons, or even require users to have a certain app or, in the case of NFC technology, a certain smartphone. Rather they just need to keep spending with the card that they have been using for daily purchases for years. Then they automatically get rewards the more that they spend with a business. Another advantage Swipely offers a business is that it isn’t based off a basic point accumulation model. Instead it is designed to be more accommodating to businesses that want to focus on specific customers.
Of course, Swipely isn’t without its flaws. The most important being it ignores the reason as to why loyalty cards became popular in the first place. Normally all you would need is an account at the business or an email address and you received a rewards card. With Swipely though, you need to provide access to your credit card information. With privacy concerns plaguing technology and the internet, it may take some convincing to get people to connect their cards to a loyalty program.
This guest post comes from Kayvon. He’s in charge of blogging about tech-related personal finance news at CreditCardForum, which is a popular forum where people discuss everything from gas credit cards to techniques for negotiating interest rates.