Wallaby Financial and CreditCards.com are offering a new Web app that recommends payment cards and rewards programs based partly in how consumers make payments.
"A lot of people have credit cards with rewards, but it doesnt mean they have the right kind of rewards or the right match to how people are spending money," says Matthew Goldman, CEO of Wallaby, which builds software for mobile and Web-based credit card applications.
Called WalletUp, Wallaby leverages CreditCards.com's card comparison marketplace along with Wallaby's data management and analytics to identify cards and rewards that correspond to how a consumer spends.
For example, WalletUp would recommend a card with travel-related rewards for a consumer who frequently uses his or her credit cards to pay for gas or other travel expenses.
"This type of service is 'de novo' for us, so it's infinitely better than anything we had before," says Jody Farmer, vice president of strategy for CreditCards.com
Wallaby's database includes information on more than 1,500 credit card products, while CreditCards.com has relationships with nine of the country's largest card issuers, among other partners.
"We don't steer them toward one card or another," Farmer says. The service is free for consumers, and issuers pay referral fees.
Consumers use WalletUp by self-reporting spending information, which goes into Wallaby's database and is analyzed to match up with a corresponding card rewards program. That information then flows through CreditCards.com's dashboard interface, where consumers can see choices of different rewards and card programs.
"There are some great cards, but they may not be the best card for each person," Goldman says.
Other payment companies are also trying to improve rewards. Elavon recently gave its retail clients the option to add a customer loyalty program directly to their payment transaction systems, enabling shoppers to redeem rewards any time they make a payment, and First Bankcard is attempting to boost rewards usage via partnerships with "deals" companies.
"Many retailers have had their fingers burnt as consumers proved to be more sophisticated than the offers themselves," says Gareth Lodge, a senior analyst at Celent, who says as a result the rewards offers are moving away from "vouchers" and more general loyalty cards. "They're becoming more focused, traceable and based on consumer behavior."