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Humans are hard-wired to prefer the path of least resistance, and the world of gifting and donating is no different. An easy donation process without any hoops to jump through is key when asking for donations… and what could be easier than tapping your credit card? 

What is Card-Linking?

In one sentence, card-linking technology connects consumer credit cards to merchants. 

Card-linking allows merchants to reward their customers, and it’s often referred to in terms of loyalty programs; when a customer shops at a card-linked merchant, their purchase triggers points or other value.  

Many industries leverage the power of card-linking, both inside and outside of loyalty programs: banking, fuel, travel and airlines, food service and grocery, and fundraising and non-profits, too. 

How Does Card-Linking Work?

Card-linking works by connecting debit and credit card issuers, card-linking platforms, and merchants/retailers. 

In a few simplified steps, card-linking works like this: 

  1. The XYZ Store sets up card-linking with a secure, third-party provider (TPP). 
  2. You make a purchase at The XYZ store using your enrolled credit card. 
  3. The credit card network sends the TPP the purchase info through secure channels. 
  4. The TPP uses that information to trigger an action, whether that’s adding loyalty points to your account or rounding up a donation. 

And that’s it! 

(Minus all of the super-technical jargon that we don’t want to bore you with).

How Card-Linking Works

Is Card-Linking Safe?

When you first hear that a third-party platform is involved in card-linking, you might have questions about data security… but don’t worry. 

Card-linking programs don’t:

  • Store your credit card information, 
  • Have access to your bank accounts, or
  • Use any private financial or banking information.

The information that card-linking programs have access to is where & when you shopped (especially relevant for loyalty programs), and how much you spent (especially relevant for round-up and cash-back programs)… which is nothing you wouldn’t find on a receipt, anyway! 

Benefits of Card-Linking

Depending on the industry, card-linking offers incredible benefits to the merchants and organizations that choose to use it. 

For retailers, card-linking lets customers ditch the loyalty cards (that always get forgotten at home, anyway!) while enabling merchants to reward their customers without revamping the capabilities of their entire POS. 

For donors and non-profits, card-linking ties giving to spending to streamline the giving process for donors, while allowing non-profits and charities to leverage the power of ongoing micro-donations. 

No matter the industry, card-linking makes things faster, easier, and more streamlined…while also offering a valuable slice of data for the merchants who use it. 

Card-Linking and Fundraising with Hope Factory

Hope Factory is a SaaS-based solution that Harnesses Consumer Spend through powerful card-linking technology… so it’s safe to say we’re huge fans of card-linking! 

Combining the benefits of card-linking with consumer donations and corporate philanthropy, Hope Factory’s solutions tie giving to spending on the Visa and Mastercard networks.

One of the most exciting parts of Hope Factory’s white-label card-linking solution is the ability for our users to control what their experience looks like. 

Our Transaction Round UPs allow the consumer to establish their round-up parameters while leveraging micro-donations, and our Cash Forward Offer triggers donations from merchants (that can also be boosted by other businesses) directly tying giving to your spending.

If you ask us, card-linking technologies are just the first step to making gifting easier and more accessible — all you have to do is spend as usual. 

With card-linking rising to prominence in various industries all over the world, it’s just a matter of time before more fundraisers and non-profits start leveraging the power of streamlined giving. 

Hope Factory delivers real value to Businesses, Consumers, Charities, and Communities, all while harnessing the power of card-linking. A future of tying giving to spending, here we come! 

If you want to learn more about how Hope Factory’s tool can work for your organization, we’d love to hear from you! Fill out the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.