With the latest update of its mobile app, Coupons.com has introduced a new feature that lets uses link online and mobile coupons directly to their payment cards. That means people can link offers to a Visa, MasterCard or American Express card and have discounts applied automatically at checkout.
The cards registered can be debit or credit cards issued by any bank. Users then browse offers and click to add selected discounts or
gift cards to their payment card. Cash discounts are credited directly to a customer’s card account and settled in a few days.
In the case of a gift card reward, redemption codes are sent in a few minutes.
The initial group of merchant partners includes The Gap, Denny’s, Old Navy, The Body Shop and Travelocity. Old Navy, for instance, is offering 6% cash back on purchases of $50 or more, while Travelocity is dangling $20 off a purchase of $200 or more.
Coupons.com, which went public in March, says that its card-linked offers platform dubbed CardLink iQ, gives specialty retailers and restaurants another way to generate sales and increase brand loyalty among customers. Both brick-and-mortar businesses and e-commerce sites can use it to try to boost traffic.
The move could also help Coupons.com further increase use of its mobile app, which it said was downloaded 7 million times last year. In a blog post about the new card-linked offers, Sheryl Kingstone, director of Yankee Group’s mobile leadership strategies service, noted that 90% of consumers are interested in mobile coupons and shopping.
“Apps can provide unique opportunities to reinforce a brand, increase accessibility, push notifications, communicate special offers, generate repeat purchases, increase social sharing and develop rich profiles of customers,” she wrote. But that comes with the caveat that third-party apps like Coupons.com and shopkick tend to draw bargain hunters rather than repeat business from “high-value customers.”
Still, many retailers aren’t going to assume shoppers have downloaded their own apps, so partnering with deal aggregators like Coupons.com becomes the next best option. By making it more convenient for customers to redeem offers through their cards, Coupons.com is making it more attractive for merchants.
One question on the consumer side is how comfortable people are registering credit card information with the site. Coupons.com has been around since 1998, which may give users some comfort, but it hasn’t ever really highlighted security as one of its key features for consumers before.