In the newest edition of our Publisher Spotlight series, Rakuten Advertising talks tech and spec with Gary Cobain, CEO of PokitPal, to discuss how PokitPal’s card-linked rewards platform has evolved. Gary dives deep into the latest technologies such as real-time data analysis, automated settlement process and geofencing. He also reveals what’s behind the rapid growth of PokitPal, a platform that delivers advertisers high returns on their marketing investment, increasing sales and customer loyalty.

Tell us a bit more about Pokitpal.

Gary: PokitPal’s mission is to make life easier for shoppers by giving them the power to save time and money with cashback. We do this by connecting them with great cashback rewards from iconic brands and Australia’s best retailers, bars, restaurants and entertainment venues. We currently work with more than 1,000 advertisers, promoting cashback offers to more than 3.5 million customers in Australia and New Zealand.

We launched our card-linked rewards platform in 2020 alongside corporate partners Visa, Virgin Money, Raiz, MyRepublic, UpStreet and Beem. Our platform uses real-time transaction data captured from some of the largest payment platforms in the world including Visa, Mastercard and eftpos. The data is checked against a list of eligible rewards and cashback is issued to the customer within seconds of completing a qualifying transaction. This innovative approach eliminates the need for POS integration, loyalty cards and IT systems required to maintain balances and manage redemptions.

What sets you apart from publishers in your category?

Gary: PokitPal promotes retailers to millions of customers through a range of banking websites and mobile apps. We only charge a small portion of the revenue generated from those customers. Our partners work with us because our unique card-linked offer proposition delivers high returns on their marketing investment, increasing sales and customer loyalty.

We offer retailers a low-cost marketing platform that attracts consumers with cashback rewards. We also automate the settlement process between advertisers and customers. Unlike traditional loyalty programs, we can deliver an omni-channel experience with no setup or staff training costs. Advertisers only pay when a qualifying purchase is recorded by PokitPal.

Additionally, our platform has reduced barriers to adoption, and instant cashback rewards are being used to influence shopping behaviours. Our service is continually evolving and uses the following innovative technologies:

  • Geofencing to identify users within a certain distance from a retail merchant
  • Real-time data and a rules engine to select only those PokitPal users that are most likely to respond positively to the rewards
  • Automatic payment to the customer’s personal bank account with 100% accuracy
  • The business plans to use Open Banking data to gain better insights from our customers and will overlay artificial intelligence to target offers to users that shop with competitors’ brands

How do you help advertisers add value and drive incrementality?

Gary: For brands, we focus on increasing sales, AOV and frequency of purchase and we guarantee a return on investment for any funds invested in our marketing services. We’ve had great results with a wide range of retailers including high street fashion retailers, food delivery, beauty products and hospitality venues.

Our monthly active users have grown rapidly by almost 2,000% in the past twelve months. We’re the first to launch cashback offers in New Zealand, so we can help brands increase market share and grow their customer base.

For example, a leading New Zealand department store approached us with a problem – their sales target has increased, and their marketing budget has reduced. Our solution was to trial our card-linked offers platform where the store will only have to pay when a transaction occurs. What we found was in the first six weeks, customer engagement increased by 88%, orders more than doubled (+122%) and AOV increased by four-fold ($475).

What excites you about the affiliate marketing industry and where it’s headed? What new innovations will we see from you this year?

Gary: We’re delighted to see the affiliate industry embrace the offline opportunity and Rakuten Advertising is leading the way. Together, we are taking a business model that traditionally only worked for online channels and delivering omni-channel results for advertisers and customers.

Apart from the rapid user growth, I am excited about the opportunity presented by open banking. This will give us better insights to customer spending habits and personalisation enables us to leverage this to deliver great results for both brands and users.

Why did you choose to partner with Rakuten Advertising?

Gary: We partner with Rakuten Advertising because the network has over 25 years of experience in affiliate and performance marketing. The team is very experienced in connecting customers with brands and products in many ways.

We admire Rakuten’s innovation in its award-winning solutions that connect advertisers with valuable audiences, as well as their drive to help publishers monetise their content. We also chose to work with Rakuten because it has advanced technology and capabilities to support card-linked offers to capture in-store transactions, and of course, for the network’s amazing team and top-tier advertisers!

Contact us to partner with PokitPal today. To hear more from our publishers in the future, subscribe to our blog.