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Whether you’re a retailer, restaurant, hotel chain, or consumer brand, finding ways to connect with customers while generating incremental revenue is always a top priority. An effective yet often overlooked strategy that checks both boxes? Offering a custom prepaid or credit card to loyal fans.
White-label branded card programs give companies the power to get their brand literally into the hands and wallets of their customers while creating a new income stream with every eligible transaction the cardholder makes. Not to mention the valuable shopper data and increased brand impressions it provides.
Unlike old-school punchcard rewards programs, branded cards establish a constant, mutually beneficial relationship between brands and fans – but only if done right. Before taking the plunge, let’s break down exactly what white-label solutions entail, their varied benefits, and a strategic approach to make sure your branded card is a success story rather than a flop.
The term “white label” may sound a bit cryptic, but it’s actually a pretty simple concept. White labeling allows brands to put their own brand, logo and custom card designs on what is essentially an existing prepaid or credit card infrastructure built and managed behind-the-scenes by a card issuing partner.
So rather than having to build and oversee all the complex payment network integrations, account management and card issuing operations internally, your brand simply handles promoting and positioning the card to customers – the fun stuff! The partner does the heavy operational lifting to keep everything running smoothly.
This approach gives brands the best of both worlds: the ability to take advantage of the growth opportunities and engagement branded cards offer without having to become payment processing experts themselves overnight. And by tailoring the rewards structure, fees, cardholder benefits and more to match a brand’s goals, white label solutions offer flexibility compared to one-size-fits all co-branded airline or retail cards.
So now that we know the lightweight logistics behind white label cards, what’s actually in it for brands besides slapping their logo on plastic? As it turns out, quite a lot.
Branded cards encourage cardholders to make your brand their top-of-wallet choice for purchases in order to maximize rewards and benefits. By incentivizing consistent purchasing behavior, it establishes a cycle of value that strengthens loyalty over time.
Branded card programs generate continuous revenue through interchange fees your issuing partner shares on transactions. These small percentages add up, especially for brands with large customer bases.
Imagine thousands of customers whipping out cards with your brand front and center wherever they shop, dine or travel. It’s invaluable advertising real estate and subconsciously reinforces brand affinity.
The purchase data provided from branded card programs gives incredible insights into your customers’ shopping habits and helps inform better merchandising, offers and engagement. You gain visibility into where your customers are shopping, how often they are buying and other granular spending analytics. These valuable spending insights allow for highly targeted offers and marketing messages tailored to different customer cohorts.
Prepaid and credit represent the two primary options when it comes to branded card programs. Which route makes most sense depends on your customers, business model and specific program goals. Let’s break down a cliffs notes comparison:
Branded Prepaid Cards – For brands with occasional or seasonal customers rather than deeply loyal fans, prepaid cards offer more flexibility. Shoppers simply load money onto the card to then use towards future purchases with your brand. This is ideal for encouraging future business and gaining access to new customers based on card distribution partnerships. Think: malls, airports, concert venues. Otherwise hard to reach pockets of potential new brand devotees.
Private Label Credit Cards – These directly issue credit through your brand, allowing cardholders to make purchases on future credit. Risk is higher than prepaid, but your customers will have signficntly increased spending power as a result. Rewards are key for driving ongoing activity here. Consider bonus earn rates or member-only perks and discounts.
Alright, time to make those white label visions a reality. Once you’ve aligned on goals and selected the right prepaid or credit card product blend for your brand, here’s how to set your program up for success:
Overall, white label branded card programs can be a powerful way for brands to deepen customer relationships while generating ongoing revenue. But it does take some strategic planning upfront to maximize the engagement and ROI opportunities. By selecting the right program type, partner, and card design – and promoting the launch effectively – you set yourself up for long-term success.
Most importantly, keep refining based on real-world usage to continuously evolve the value your card provides. Done right, branded cards can absolutely take your brands’ connections with customers to the next level.
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.