Linkables: Digital coupons embedded in your debit or credit card
If you love saving money with coupons but hate all the clipping, Linkable Networks and 24/7 Real Media have a service you’ll enjoy. It doesn’t even require a smartphone. Bankrate reports that a new service called Linkables embeds coupon savings directly onto a consumer’s debit or credit card.
Saving money with Linkables digital coupons
Linkables is billed as a seamless service that will enable savings on both online and offline purchases. All the consumer has to do is register a debit card or credit card at the Linkables website ahead of time. When shopping online, any retailer that displays the Linkables logo will automatically apply the discount when the consumer uses the registered card. Similarly, brick-and-mortar retailers offer an applicable product discount when the registered credit or debit card is used. In both cases, consumers have 30 days to use a digital coupon that has been attached to their card.
Currently, Linkables is supported on about 99 percent of all cards in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal reports that Linkable Networks and 24/7 Real Media are working on a partnership with two large banks that will automatically enroll bank customers in the Linkables program.
Bargaining away personal security
Critics note that there is a dark side to Linkables, which is that all companies affiliated with Linkables could gain instant access to your purchase history, so a consumer’s shopping habits would be evident.
Linkable Networks CEO Tom Burgess told the Wall Street Journal that personal banking information is digitally secured, but email addresses are needed to maintain profile histories as “tokenized profiles.” 24/7 Real Media then sends ads to the email address on file, and user interaction is tracked by the response to the targeted ads.
Studying the user life cycle
Burgess noted that online advertisers will enjoy what Linkables has to offer in terms of consumer insight, or the “life cycle of a user,” from viewing ads to the completion of a purchase. As more consumers use the Linkables service, the company will increase its ability to serve intelligent discounts to its user community.