Cashback publisher Quidco has signed an agreement with Visa’s European division which could see rapid growth for its in-store reward scheme.
The company is currently on a big push to gain retailer adoption for an in-store cashback service that allows users to redeem a percentage of the money they pay for items in the aftermath of a sale.
Quidco says 40 retailers are signed up to offering cashback inside their stores via card-linked offers.
Its new partnership with one of the world’s biggest financial groups will open this scheme up to all Visa card users, which the company hopes will translate to 80 retailers being signed up to in-store cashback within the next 12 months.
Founded in 2005 by Paul and Jennifer Nikkel, Quidco has grown its user base to over five million members off the back of consumers becoming increasingly frugal with their spending habits.
The concept of splitting some of the commission it gains from driving sales for retailers with the very people buying products and services proved popular during the recession. Quidco has since become a mainstay of the affiliate marketing community, competing alongside TopCashback for UK market share.
Both firms offer an in-store cashback reward programme, which forms part of some of the moves from affiliate groups to branch out into offline selling.
However, Quidco may have gained a competitive edge by reeling in support from Visa – a move which, according to reports from the Telegraph, has already resulted in sign-ups from Hotel Chocolat and Mothercare.
Quidco’s business started as online-only, but with a total of £342 billion being made by brick-and-mortar stores in the UK last year, such agreements won’t hurt its credentials and reach on the high street.
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Quidco managed to grow revenue to £70 million last year but this hasn’t come without controversy.
The publisher was the subject of industry criticism in 2014 after automatically opting advertisers into a browser extension which alerted users about cashback being available on the websites they visited.
Many groups voiced their objection to the move on the basis that they would pay commission on purchases made by consumers that, by visiting a retailer, may well have converted without incentives.
Andreas Andreou, commercial director at Quidco, insisted the tool fell in line with IAB guidelines and that it would be making “further improvements” in the near future.