34% of consumers have not heard of card-linked offers

Card-related offers—promotions designed to entice consumers to use credit and debit cards—are very popular with consumers. That is, once they use them. According to the PYMNTS Intelligence report “Card-Linked Offer Growth Depends on First-Time Users,” after experiencing card-linked offers for the first time, 93% of cardholders said they plan to use them again in the near future.

However, the report, a survey of more than 2,100 U.S. consumers conducted in partnership with Banyan, found that among consumers who had never used card-linked offers in the past, 73% said they were only slightly familiar with them. Or completely unfamiliar.

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In fact, 34% of consumers generally say they have never heard of card-linked offers, and 25% of non-users say they either don’t understand how these offers work or don’t feel comfortable using them.

Consumers who are not currently taking advantage of card-linked offers say two key factors would prompt them to consider taking advantage of them: familiarity with the programs and access to offers that are relevant to their needs. Notably, non-users said they would be willing to accept these offers if they could discover them in the first place: 16% said greater visibility is the most important factor in starting to take advantage of card-related offers.

These findings highlight the need to educate consumers about card-related offers and the potential value they offer. Education alone is not enough. Providers must ensure that offers are relevant to cardholders to highlight their value. Thirty percent of non-users said the offers they received did not make sense to them.

What is the best way to inform consumers about card-related offers, the value they can provide and their relevance?

Who the messenger is and how trustworthy that messenger is appears to play an important role in getting consumers interested in card-related offers.

44% of cardholders told us they first learn about card-related offers from their primary financial institution (FI) or a merchant they frequent (in other words, a messenger they trust). And, since consumers are also likely to trust recommendations they receive from their inner circle, another 13% of cardholders credit friends or family for bringing credit card offers to their attention. At the same time, we believe that ads and third-party notifications promoting card-related offers resonate the least with cardholders because there is no trust factor.

Since users of nearly all card-related offers say they plan to continue using them in the future, merchants and financial institutions must incentivize consumers to take the first step. What if this inspiration came from a trusted source and explained its value and relevance? These providers may see an increase in utilization of card-linked offers and overall customer satisfaction.

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