B of A Tests 'BankAmeriDeals' Merchant-Funded Rewards

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Bank of America Corp. is working with Cardlytics Inc. to test an online rewards system called BankAmeriDeals.

The Charlotte, N.C., banking company will begin testing the merchant-funded rewards system Wednesday with its staff in North Carolina, South Carolina and Nevada, says bank spokeswoman Tara Burke. By mid-February, all Bank of America employees will have access to the rewards program.

"Our customers have told us they … don't want to do the deal hunting" to save money, says Burke in an interview with American Banker. "With this, you don't have to cut coupons. It's real easy."

Cardlytics is already working with about 200 other banks, including PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and Regions Financial Corp., says Lynne Laube, Cardlytics' president, in an interview.

With the Bank of America test, the offers are displayed within online banking. Customers must first click on a deal, then shop with a B of A credit or debit card at the merchant that provided the offer. The consumer gets a verification the next day that the offer has been redeemed, and the discount is applied as a credit to the consumer's account at the end of the month.

Merchants pay only after the transaction is completed.

"If someone shops at McDonald's we want to give them a [McDonald's] offer," says Laube. "But it can be as complicated as [limiting an offer to] apparel in [a specific] zip code."

At its onset, the trial will work only for Bank of America's online banking site. Bank of America plans to eventually offer BankAmeriDeals on its mobile app as well, Burke says.

The BankAmeriDeals program was first reported by Reuters.

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