With customer acquisition costs soaring, building loyalty among existing customers is of critical importance. Well-designed loyalty programs offer a number of benefits for brands including increased share-of-wallet, improved referrals, and increased trust for future purchases. Imprint is a fintech and rewards infrastructure platform that allows brands to seamlessly deploy their own branded payment solutions as well as rewards programs. For years, branded payment options were exclusively for large companies that offered co-branded credit cards with legacy card issuers (e.g. airline credit cards). With Imprint, companies large and small can design their own tailored payment options (either through a branded card or even a branded payment button) and rewards programs in less than a week. With the savings in credit card fees from bringing their payment infrastructure in-house, merchants are able to offer engaging rewards programs without incurring additional cost. Customers get 5% back from their favorite brands and a minimum of 1% for other purchases while brands are able to save up to 90% of their payment processing costs.
AlleyWatch caught up with Imprint CEO and Cofounder Daragh Murphy to learn more about how Imprint modernizes and optimizes the payment experience for both brands and customers, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding, and much, much more.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Following the $38 million Series A round, Imprint has raised a total of $53 million. Imprint’s funding group is comprised of a mixture of leading funds, fintech companies, and individuals, including Kleiner Perkins, Stripe, Thrive Capital, Affirm, Allen & Co., James Corden, Lloyd Blankfein, and the executives of leading consumer brands.
Tell us about the product or service that Imprint offers.
Imprint is a payment provider that offers merchant-branded payments and rewards products. Imprint’s first product is a branded rewards card that puts customers first – with no credit inquiries, no interest, and absolutely no fees. It offers significant rewards to customers, comparable to top credit cards.
With Imprint, brands can take ownership of their rewards programs and how their customers pay, significantly reduce their cost to process payments, and reinvest these savings into rich rewards for their customers. As a result, brands can boost retention and customer lifetime value with minimal investment.
The branded payment space has not changed since co-branded credit cards were introduced in the 90’s and is in need of an upgrade to best serve modern brands and their customers.
How is Imprint different?
Imprint empowers brands to stand up programs in weeks and helps provide customers with rewards that make them feel valued, with access to exclusive releases, pre-sales, and other benefits that showcase the best of these iconic brands. With Imprint, brands can now give their customers an inclusive and rewarding way to pay, with none of the credit inquiries or fees associated with traditional credit cards. Imprint also helps brands significantly reduce their cost to process payments by cutting out the banks and payments processors. Brands can then use these savings to fund Imprint-powered rewards programs that boost retention and customer lifetime value.
What market does Imprint target and how big is it?
Imprint is for the everyday shopper, deserving of perks at the stores they spend their money most. We’re seeing a generational shift away from traditional credit cards and we’ve built an inclusive product that allows most Americans with a bank account to access rewards at their favorite brands. These are the types of rewards that most credit cards and no debit cards can compete with. In terms of partners, Imprint is open to working with all kinds of brands that have a dedicated customer base, regardless of industry or size. Many of our initial partnership conversations have been with some of the most innovative and digitally savvy companies, including restaurants, clothing companies, gyms, subscription services, and more.
What’s your business model?
We make money as our brand partners make money. We help eliminate the majority of processing fees and fraud costs for our brand partners and charge brands a much smaller fee on each transaction or when customers use rewards to come back.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
In the next six months, we will announce our first partnerships with some really exciting brands.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
In the near term, we see Imprint becoming a seamless part of the shopping experience for consumers and brands alike, and expanding our roster of partner brands.
What’s your favorite outdoor dining restaurant in NYC
I’m looking forward to Una Pizza Napoletana’s reopening in LES this month.