In a trend of the past year or so, banks and other financial services providers are racing to provide card-linked offers that deliver relevant merchant offers to consumers. As gatekeepers of transaction data, financial companies can offer customers targeted deals. In other words, pole-dancing offers won't grace everyone's inbox anymore.
Bync, a startup based in Colorado that began as a personal financial management provider, emerged earlier this month as a poster child for this trend. The new service works like this: A consumer syncs his bank account — and more accounts for a fee, if he wishes — to Bync so that he receives emailed offers from merchants that relate to his transactions. Bync uses Yodlee to aggregate bank and credit card accounts.
Bync decided to focus on offers because it realized that "the ability to get deals based on where you shopped" engaged early users the most, Ryan Bales, founder and chief executive, tells BTN. "At that point, it made sense to center the product around that."
Today, once a consumer links a financial account, Bync will display merchant deals that relate to the person's transactions. Then a consumer can click on which stores, such as Whole Foods or Amazon, he wants to receive deals about and at what frequency he wants to receive them in his email inbox.
Looking ahead, the goal is to offer much more exclusive deals with merchants through Bync. There, Bync has its work cut out for it. Though it has a couple of merchants doing a pilot program and some merchants are approaching the startup, the efforts "are pretty early stages," Bales says. In the interim, most deals on Bync are aggregated from affiliated networks that may lead a consumer to an outside site that requires a printout of a coupon. The hope, however, is to make exclusive offers the focus of the app.
Bync's near-term plans also include pushing out a mobile app with some geolocation features for iOS and Android devices. "We anticipate that our mobile apps will probably be the main interface for deal alerts in the future," Bales says.