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BizReport : Advertising archives : January 19, 2011

Advertising finds its way into bank statements

Advertising is popping up all over the digital landscape - email, social networks, online video, and even in games. Now there's another place where ads are making inroads - bank statements.

by Helen Leggatt

The banking industry has long used behavioral and transactional data to target products and, in the case of credit cards, offers and deals to their customers. It is this level of consumer detail that has attracted advertisers.

It's no surprise, therefore, to learn of innovation in the online banking space.

McDonald's and Macy's are among a number of retailers who are advertising in online bank statements (AdAge April 2010). By employing technology developed by the likes of Cardlytics and Cartera, they are able to target consumers based on transactional data - for instance, McDonald's might target an ad or offer to those who have made a purchase at one of their restaurants, or even at those that have made a purchase at Wendy's or Burger King.

Instead of plain ads, advertisers can provide links within the bank statement via which a discount coupon can be redeemed automatically the next time the bank card is used in their store.

Scott Grimes, co-founder and chief executive of Cardlytics, the company behind the online bank statement advertising, told the Washington Post that consumers have the option to opt out of the ad program. However, he said only 2% of the 10 million households exposed to the ads have so far opted out.

The ads are one way in which banks can replenish revenues lost due to the recent tightening of regulations surrounding debit card use fees - fees that once funded rewards programs.

"The new rules sharply reduced the amount of money banks receive from merchants each time a debit card is swiped - a fee that was used to pay for customer perks such as airline miles or discounted merchandise," writes The Washington Post's Ylan Q. Mui.

"J.P. Morgan Chase, for instance, announced it will discontinue debit card rewards programs for new customers starting next month."

Cardlytics is set to extend their rewards program to work within the mobile space.

Tags: advertising, online banking

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