Venmo Announces Rewards Program for Debit Cardholders
In just the past couple of years, the number of FinTechs offering their own debit card products has exploded. Thus it only makes sense that these companies would want to find new and creative ways to incentivize use of these various cards. That seems to be the playbook popular peer-to-peer payments app Venmo is following, announcing the rollout of Venmo Rewards for Venmo Card users.
With Venmo Rewards, cardholders will be able to earn cash back when they shop with select brands. Headlining the initial round of limited time Reward offers, users can get 5% back at Target, Sephora, Wendy’s, Chevron, and Papa John’s. Additional partners offering cash back include Dunkin’, Sam’s Club, and more. According to Venmo, as these particular offers expire, new ones will be added.
While it’s not explicitly mentioned in their press release, a link provided in the blog post reveals that the Venmo Rewards program is actually being powered by the cash back app Dosh. Incidentally some (but not all) of the offers mentioned are already available to regular Dosh users. One notable difference is that Dosh requires users to earn $25 in rewards before they can transfer funds while cash back earned through Venmo Reward will be deposited directly into cardholders’ Venmo accounts. It’s unclear if current Dosh users might be able to link their Venmo debit cards to the app to “double dip,” although it seems unlikely.
The Venmo Rewards program is also somewhat comparable to a feature on Square’s Cash card. That debit product from the Cash P2P app offers what it calls “Boosts” that allow customers to earn discounts at select restaurants and retailers when they use their card. Currently these Boost partners include Whole Foods, Raising Cane’s, AMC Theatres, DoorDash, Subway, and more. Meanwhile another recently-launched card that has found success in brand partnerships is Apple Card, which boasts 3% “Daily Cash” on Walgreens, Duane Reade, and Uber purchases among others.
As other efforts have shown, card issuers partnering with brands to offer cash back to users can be a win-win-win. Not only are customers rewarded for patronizing featured companies but the issuers can benefit from increased usage and, in turn, interchange fees. Moreover such arrangements speak to what FinTechs do best: thinking outside of the box to create superior experiences. Of course many have also found success in adopting strategies that have worked for others, so don’t be surprised if more offerings like Venmo Rewards arise soon.