The Financial Brand: Eight Ways to Get Your Clients to Choose *Your* Credit or Debit Card for All Their Holiday Shopping

Read on The Financial Brand.

During the 2014 winter holidays, consumers spent over $600 billion accounting for nearly 20% of most merchants’ retail sales for the year. Each person spent an average of $730 on food, gifts, decorations, and more, and for most of those purchases, they used a debit or credit card.

This holiday season, financial institutions are asking, “How do we make our clients choose our credit or debit card for all of those purchases?”

Here are eight ways to make your card rise to the top of your users’ wallets this year.

P.S. We hereby ask your forgiveness for talking about holiday shopping so soon!

  1. Enter users into a drawing – by purchase amount, or by number of transactions. Each purchase made on your debit or credit card enters them into a drawing where they could be reimbursed the amount of that purchase. Alternatively, they could win a $500 gift card (from your financial institution, of course). Another option would be to automatically enter customers into a drawing when their total card purchases exceed $500 or 20 transactions in a one-month time period. These are relatively easy metrics to monitor and shouldn’t require much extra work for your institution.
  1. Create “Swipes for Charity” days. On designated days, make a small donation for every credit/debit card transaction to a local charity. The more your clients swipe, the more you give to a local cause. Win, Win, Win! 
  1. Offer your clients local discounts while they’re shopping. Use a mobile-alert platform to reach users at the right time and place as they are shopping and searching on their mobile device for holiday gifts, pumpkin cheesecake, or fancy New Year’s dresses. Offer them merchant-funded discounts at local businesses when they pay with your FI’s card. Larky’s mobile discount platform launches fast and efficiently and there is still time to activate in time to capture additional interchange revenue this holiday season. 
  1. Reward shoppers with gift cards in January, plus promote local business. Reward everyone who spends beyond a set dollar amount or number of transactions with their choice of gift card from a choice of local merchants.
  1. Clients get free tickets or passes to local events. By showing your financial institution’s credit/debit card, your customers/members can get free entry to a local holiday concert or other special event.
  1. Set up “secret sales” for special shoppers. Help local merchants promote their offerings to your users with “secret sales” and client-only buying incentives. Of course, shoppers must use your credit/debit card to claim the deal.
  1. “Shop to win on Wednesday!” Those who use your credit/debit card for a purchase on a designated day are automatically entered into a drawing.
  1. Offer up your CEO for a fun stunt. Challenge your clients to use your credit/debit card for a designated number or amount of purchases to see your CEO (or local celebrity) make snow angels in red long johns, take a “polar bear plunge” in the lake, or perform another outrageous stunt.

While the winter holidays might seem far away, researchers at GoogleThink found that 48% of shoppers do most of their shopping on or before Cyber Monday, and 25% of people do some holiday shopping even before Halloween. If your financial institution wants to make sure your credit/debit card sits on the top of people’s wallets this holiday season, you need to put incentives in place soon.

Gregg Hammerman is Co-Founder of Larky, a mobile discount and loyalty platform that drives interchange revenue, wallet share, acquisition and retention. To learn more about Larky, visit or email us at You can also follow Larky on Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Posted on October 19, 2015 by Gregg - No Comments

Topics: Perks and Discounts, Loyalty, Mobile