11 Oct The Ins and Outs of Affinity Cards
Affinity cards can be a great option looking for a business looking to expand its customer base and grow interest in its brand. They can also be seamlessly combined with existing payment processing services and merchant accounts to bring in a maximum of revenue with a minimum of hassle.
Affinity cards refer to a card issued with the logo of a particular business, a photograph associated with an organization, or some other identifier demonstrating that the holder of the card has an “affinity” with that organization. Cards are not directly issued by the “affinity” organizations themselves, but instead with the assistance of merchant acquiring banks in the same way typical payment cards are issued. Typically, affinity cards provide an additional benefit to the holder above and beyond the simple ability to use the card. For each use of the card, the holder receives donations to their affinity charity, airline miles, or points toward sports merchandise or tickets. This provides a strong incentive for consistent use of the affinity card.
Over the years, charities, sports teams, airlines, and other organizations have successfully used these cards to gain additional revenue and fortify their revenue bases. Affinity cards remind customers of their affinity company each and every time they are presented at a point of sale, and may even raise brand awareness among persons at other establishments who ring up charges made on the card. Additionally, affinity cards generate strong loyalty in that they become part of a customer’s purchasing identity. As a result, affinity merchants’ customers may become unwilling to use other forms of payment which provide less of a personal benefit.
Perhaps the best benefit of affinity cards from merchants’ perspective is that they allow for greatly enhanced business opportunities with a minimum of effort. Specifically, the merchant accounts and payment processing services which allow businesses to efficiently handle receipt and processing of payments from non-affinity cards can also be used to work with their affinity counterparts. Thus, affinity cards allow businesses and nonprofit organizations who accept debit and credit card payments to work together with merchant accounts and payment processing services to greatly enhance revenue and generate significant repeat business.