The card fades into the background

The card fades into the background

This blog is based on the Packaged Facts report Private Label Credit Cards in the U.S., 9th Edition. Purchase a copy by Dec. 1 and receive 5% off with promo code PFPLCC1015.

The movement to virtual private label cards housed within retailer mobile apps foretells the eventual demise of the physical card:

  • Already, more than 30% of private label card issuer and program manager Alliance Data Systems’ private label card purchase value is made via card-not-present transactions.

More broadly, retailer loyalty programs are not only increasingly digital in nature but also increasingly take any kind of payment-not just private label card payments. In Private Label Credit Cards in the U.S., 9th Edition, Packaged Facts reveals expectations that the multi-tender loyalty program trend will continue in force, with strong continued uptake over the next two to three years.

Moving to a multi-tender loyalty program option that utilizes non-credit payment types such as cash, debit or check provides the opportunity to control and assemble richer consumer purchase behavior profiles, allowing for increasingly sophisticated targeted marketing. By tying together email accounts and other means of matching and integrating a customer’s behavior, the multi-tender loyalty program operator gains a broader, richer set of customer data, and can target accordingly.

Taking things farther, the loyalty program operator can integrate omni-channel behavior, thanks to digital loyalty platforms that bridge the offline world with the desktop, tablet and mobile online world. Retailer partners win because they can market more effectively to a wider audience; private label card issuers win because they can access additional prospective cardholders.

In many respects, the shift to mobile, digital and increasingly sophisticated loyalty platform should mean that major private label players increasingly resemble technology companies. This is indeed the case. Packaged Facts thinks Alliance Data Systems exemplifies this trend: A private label card player disguised as a digital-forward loyalty and customer relationship management expert. The company’s strengths lies in its digital-forward loyalty program expertise, which informs many of the card programs it manages.