Magazine article American Banker

Rewards That Travel: Vendors Bring Offers beyond Bank Sites

Magazine article American Banker

Rewards That Travel: Vendors Bring Offers beyond Bank Sites

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeremy Quittner

Many merchant-funded rewards companies try to entice bank credit or debit card holders with offers in their online statements. Two vendors are teaming up to bring those offers to the broader Web.

Billeo Inc. and Cartera Commerce Inc. announced a partnership Wednesday to present card offers in consumers' Web browsers as they shop.

"The challenge for consumers is that they have no shortage of offers in their lives," says Mark Schwanhausser, a senior analyst for Javelin Strategy & Research. "Billeo and Cartera are trying to hit the consumer in the process of shopping online."

Cartera, of Lexington, Mass., creates marketing programs linked to consumers' credit and debit cards in online, mobile and physical store locations.

Billeo, of Santa Clara, Calif., creates browser and mobile applications that present consumers with special merchant offers while shopping online, and it helps them organize their financial lives while paying bills online.

Cartera and Billeo have designed an application that works as a plug-in to a standard browser. Consumers download the application via their bank or another reward-program provider, such as an airline.

The application then alerts consumers of special credit card offers for things like cash back on dollars spent. These alerts appear as consumers conduct searches and shop for items online.

The application pulls up the offers as an overlay, not a pop-up, as consumers mouse over product selections at a merchant's website. Consumers redeem offers simply by clicking on them and buying online, or by swiping a registered credit card at a physical store location.

"We see this as an important marketing channel to give personalized offers," says

Marc Caltabiano, vice president of marketing and product management for Cartera.

Cartera plans to make the service available in mobile format sometime in the next year, Caltabiano says. …

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