Cashback news update: Cashkaro, Mobikwik, Paytm, Ibotta, Ebates, Yelp, Barclays

There’s been a big market shift in the cashback industry. Many trends we forecast in our 2015 Global Cashback Industry Report have evolved as we predicted. And the realities? Some big successes. Mergers and consolidations. Devaluations and harder to come by venture capital funds. Profit challenges and intense competitive pressures.

Cashback business failures in some markets or business realities have forced cashback startups to shift their business model or strategies.  There are still a number of large, successful regional and global players using the cashback e-commerce model. Today’s news roundup will give you a sense of where the industry is heading and what type of cashback offers are still popular with business and consumers.

Cashkaro shifts strategyCashkaro, a popular India cashback site, will reposition itself as a savings destination in order to fuel new growth and capture new consumers looking for bargains. The company also announced plans for a new mobile app and several strategic partnerships. “No 2% fee,” claims Paytm rival MobiKwik in a strong competitive response to the new 2% fee announced by Paytm. Mobikwik will not charge a fee for consumers adding money to wallets via credit cards. Paytm purchases with credit cards will still remain free but the 2% fee will be charged to help the company cover the cost of cash to credit card transactions.

Card rewards app Sift received $1.5 million in new investment to expand services that help consumers recover “hidden” credit card benefits including price adjustment refunds, extended warranties, return protection for 90 percent of available US credit cards. Ebates acquired cashback shopping site Splender as part of its acquisition of points program and loyalty marketing company Cartera Commerce. Discover and PayPal launched a new program that lets PayPal customers pay with Discover cards and Discover customers use their cashback rewards to shop on PayPal.

ibotta's best shopping day bargainsWant to know the best day to get shopping bargains on wine, beer, vegetables or snack bargains? Mobile rewards and shopping app Ibotta has the answers: wine (6% less Tues), beer (9% less Mon), produce (3% less Wed) and snacks (7% less Fri). Now you know! Review site Yelp rolled out a new cashback rewards program where customers can earn from 7% to 10% cashback by dining with participating restaurants. In the UK, Barclays has a cashback mortgage program offering up to $3072 for home buyers.

Cashkaro looking to reposition itself as a savings destination, a popular cashback and coupon site, plans an organic-cum-inorganic expansion programme, which it believes will help double its present gross merchandise value (GMV) of ₹70-100 crore a month in the next one year.

The four-year-old start-up, founded by wife-husband duo Swati Bhargava and Rohan Bhargava, seeks to position itself as a savings destination. It will re-launch its website with some enhancements and design changes. A mobile app will be launched soon.

“We are also working on strategic partnerships which will allow us to get inorganic growth. They will help us double the GMV value by next year,” said Swati Bhargava. The Ratan Tata-invested company, which helps buyers get discounts (in the form of cash-back and coupons) on e-commerce portals, has about 15 lakh (1.5 million) customers. Via

No 2% fee on adding money with credit card, instead get 2% cashback, says MobiKwik after Paytm said in a blog post that it will levy a 2 percent fee on adding money to wallets using credit cards, its biggest rival MobiKwik announced that it will retain its no charge policy to promote cash-less economy and adding money to wallet via credit card is still free.

“No 2% Fee!” it said on social sites, adding that “adding money to your MobiKwik wallet through credit card is free.” Not only this, “add money on MobiKwik and get 2% cashback.” The offer, however, is not valid on Net Banking and Virtual Card payments.

It may be noted that mobile wallet company Paytm had on Wednesday said in a blog post that in a bid to avoid the misuse of credit cards, they have announced some changes in their terms and conditions. It said that in the month of November they launched a new payment platform for small merchants at 0% fee. Millions of merchants are accepting Paytm at their shops/ establishments. They prefer to take money to their bank accounts and as a promise to democratizing payments, Paytm made transfer to bank fee at 0%. This was extended to all their users as many shopkeepers/ merchants also used their personal Paytm accounts to accept payments at their shops. Via

Paytm to Charge 2% Fee If You Transfer Money to Your Wallet Through Credit Cards! people switched to Paytm after demonetization was announced; this mobile wallet offers great ease for making bank transfers and online transactions. Since it offered its services at 0 percent fee, users started enjoying it all the more. It supports debit cards, credit cards and net banking, but now, it has added 2 more options UPI & IMPS to add money to the wallet.

However, in a recent announcement, Paytm has changed the rules with regards to credit card transactions. Well, if you want to add money to the credit card, you will have to pay a 2 percent fee. Paytm has taken this decision because many users have misused the services; what they used to do is add money to the wallet with a credit card and then transfer it to their respective banks at 0 percent transfer fee.

This allowed them to enjoy free credit and get cashback points, but it was Paytm who had to bear the brunt of these transactions. Purchases made with credit cards will remain free, but for adding money to the wallet, a 2 percent fee is applicable. Via

Card rewards app Sift secures $1.5 million investment

SIFT gets $1.5M new fundsToday, Sift, a free application that maximizes credit card benefits and earns reimbursements for consumers, announced a $1.5 million Seed Round and the public release of their app, available for iOS on the App Store. Sift is the first service to provide comprehensive coverage for hidden benefits, including price adjustment refunds, extended warranties, return protection, and beyond for 90 percent of all credit cards in the United States.

Although most consumers are familiar with points and cashback, the “hidden” benefits are buried in hard to understand credit card policies and are overly complicated for the average consumer to take advantage of. Sift is able to offer benefits to consumers by automatically analyzing available policies and filing claims for users worth thousands of dollars per year. Via

Splender Shopping Portal Shuts Down & Joins Ebates: Earn $25 Bonus for Switching (another shopping portal) will no longer be available March 30, 2017. In the month of January, Ebates acquired Cartera Commerce, which is a leading provider of rewards programs & loyalty marketing solutions whom launched a cash back portal as you know as Splender. Cartera Commerce runs most of the airline shopping portals that you may use today. Now that the Cartera Commerce is under Ebates, the company is ending Splender entirely and encouraging members to use Ebates instead.

Here is the email we received: “Big news, Danny. Splender has joined the Ebates family. Because Ebates really is the best at this whole cash back thing, we are delighted to let them take the lead from now on! We hope you decide to continue your cash back experience by joining and shopping through Ebates:” Via

Ebates Acquires Cartera Commerce

Cartera CommerceEbates, the pioneer and leader in online cashback shopping and subsidiary of the global Internet services company Rakuten, today announced the acquisition of Cartera Commerce, a leading provider of loyalty marketing solutions and rewards programs that increase revenue and customer loyalty.

“We are excited to leverage Ebates’ expertise and solutions to enhance the loyalty marketing services we provide to our clients – and to work together on new and exciting offerings for our customers.”  The acquisition will further strengthen Ebates’ portfolio of loyalty marketing offerings and provide new programs to customers through Cartera’s established loyalty marketing platform.

Headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts, Cartera Commerce provides a comprehensive and performance-based offer platform for merchants, card issuers, airline frequent flyer programs and loyalty programs. Cartera partners with companies who use loyalty programs to reward their customers and helps those customers earn more rewards by shopping with online stores through Cartera-run, partner-branded websites. Cartera works with 5 of the top 10 U.S. credit card issuers and 5 of the 6 largest U.S. airlines, and since its inception, has given away more than 20 billion points and miles. Cartera will continue operations in Lexington, and Beecher will remain in his position as CEO. Via Business Wire

PayPal taps into Discover’s tokenization, Cashback Bonus program Financial Services and PayPal have inked a new agreement that will make it easier for PayPal users to use their Discover cards to pay securely at contactless in-store checkout terminals, and enable Discover card members to use their Cashback Bonus through PayPal at e-commerce sites that accept the digital payment solution.

The companies said Discover cards will be presented as a clear payment option within the PayPal wallet, while giving PayPal access to Discover’s tokenization services, allowing the digital wallet to be used at all contactless-enabled merchants that accept Discover. Discover cardmembers also will be able to view and use their available Cashback Bonus while using PayPal to fund all or part of a purchase at PayPal’s list of online and mobile merchants.

“U.S. consumers have nearly $50 billion in rewards value, offering PayPal an enormous opportunity to unlock the value of these rewards by giving customers easier ways to access them in their PayPal wallet and use them when they shop with PayPal’s 15 million merchant accounts around the world,” PayPal COO Bill Ready said on the company’s blog. Via

The days you should buy certain products crunchers at Ibotta have studied millions of receipts and say they’ve identified the best days to buy certain products.

They say for example:

–  Beer is 9 percent cheaper on Mondays
–  Ice cream is 9 percent cheaper on Mondays
–  Wine is 6 percent cheaper on Tuesdays
–  Produce is 3 percent cheaper in Wednesdays
–  Cleaning products are 3 percent cheaper on Thursdays
–  Snacks are 7 percent cheaper on Fridays

“It does add up,” said Andrew Schrage, a frequent Ibotta user and CEO of “There’s certain days of the week that products are cheaper,” he said. Via

Yelp Launches Cashback Program With Local Businesses’s latest ploy to attract users is a cashback program that rewards customers as well as local businesses — but you’ll have to give up your financial information to the review-hosting site.

Yelp Cashback offers up to 10 percent cashback whenever you dine at “thousands of participating restaurants.” You can search for these participating locations by searching “cashback” in Yelp’s search bar.

To enroll in the program, you’ll first need to sign up by adding your credit or debit card information. Yelp says you can add as many cards as you want, and you’ll have to use a linked card at a participating restaurant to get cash back — the company says you can get “up to” 10 percent, and indeed some locations only offer 7 percent cashback. Via

Why would Barclays pay your property purchase stamp duty? deal from Barclays will give customers £1250 ($1536) cashback on property purchases worth between £100,000 ($122,840) and £150,000 ($184,260). The figure rises to £2500 ($3072) for property’s valued between £150,001 and £500,000 ($614,250) – although it is worth bearing in mind the £2500 figure would not cover the full stamp duty on a property worth more than £250,000 ($307,125). Purchases towards the higher end of the market would leave buyers having to cover additional stamp duty charges even after taking into account the cashback element.

So why would Barclays offer this deal?

The simple fact is that this particular deal demands a 20% deposit with a fixed interest rate of 2.69% for the first five years. This may not seem overly expensive but compared to traditional mortgages, with a 15% deposit, rates of 2.19% up to around 2.44% are readily available on the market. So, while the additional cashback element may allow you to cover stamp duty this does come at a price which can soon begin to mount up over the years. However, there is nothing wrong with this deal because it is upfront, the figures are there for everybody to see and it will assist some who are struggling to cover stamp duty payments. Via

That’s our cashback news roundup for this week. If you found it valuable, subscribe at the top of the page to get your weekly cashback industry news free in your inbox.