Sit in any session at Performance Marketing Insights: London and you are sure to hear at least one mention of the tired phrase that 2013 is the year of mobile, but one technology that is making a comeback after a number of years in the shadows is card-linked offers (CLO).

Data has helped make the technology more useful, as has been shown by Cardlytics. It isn’t the only company trying to reinvigorate the space though. Birdback is also attempting to make CLO the next big thing.

Worldpay research proved there is an appetite among consumers for this technology. Consumers taking part in the survey revealed that they would like to use CLOs over other innovations such as fingerprint authentication and mobile wallets.

CLOs are offers that consumers opt into by registering their payment card online, which can include a Lloyds debit card and AMEX. The consumer agrees to participate in a deal and then spend in a store or collection of stores with that payment card.

After-purchase Tracking

Once a consumer has made a purchase in the store, the card-linking technology will track it as it progresses through the network. Nothing occurs until the consumer has actually made the purchase.

Once they have spent their money a reward will come back to them. Rewards come in a number of different flavours from cashback to giftcards and from nectar points to Avios points.

The advantage of the system is that it is a fully qualified spend because the transaction has negotiated its way through the payment system. Plus the reward that’s added can be anything that is delivered electronically.

Consumers pay with their card through the publisher’s site, against the retailer’s offer. Technology companies and platform providers work with publishers and networks to provide this technology to their customer base.

Data Transactions

When a consumer visits the store, buys a product or service and the card is swiped, the data goes through a whole variety of transactions all the way through to the bank. If, for example, Barclays have issued the card, it will have the final say on whether it is approved

After the bank has made the decision, the message is sent back through Visa and Mastercard and other banks as well. CLO platforms plug into this process on the right-hand side of the diagram above.

Technology providers, such as Birdback, which presented at Performance Marketing Insights: London today, track the consumers that opt into a deal with their payment card, the sale that goes in and this is then traced against the deal of what the consumer is owed.