Busey Bank of Champaign, Ill., has given out debit rewards since 2005 to increase incremental revenue from cardholders through interchange, and add-on services, like bill-pay.

The program generates about $62 in annual revenue per account, but Busey officials believe the bank can do better by strengthening its relationships with area merchants. So the $4 billion-asset Busey is reaching out to local gas stations, bookstores and coffee shops to participate in new rewards offers that will be based on a consumer's debit-card spending habits. The transaction information marketed to retailers help construct promotions and offers to customers most likely to shop with them. Busey — through debit rewards program vendor MyRewards — will earn added fees from merchants as cardholders redeem the offers.

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