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Private label card explained

Lean how to boost your business with customized card solutions: drive loyalty, optimize operations, and gain a real competitive edge.

Private label card explained
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Private label cards are branded payment solutions that enable businesses to offer customized rewards, incentives, and financing options to their customers and employees. These cards serve as powerful tools for driving customer loyalty, improving cash flow management, and gaining valuable spending insights. In this article, we'll guide you through the concept of private label cards, their key benefits for businesses, and delve into how they work. 

What are private label cards?

Private label cards are branded payment cards issued by businesses to their customers or employees, allowing them to make purchases or access funds within a specific ecosystem or network. Unlike traditional debit or credit cards issued by a bank, private label cards are a product tailored to the branding and specific needs of the issuing company.

These cards differ from traditional cards in several ways. Firstly, they are not tied to a specific financial institution but rather to the company's brand and loyalty program. Secondly, they often offer unique rewards and incentives tailored to the business's products or services. Additionally, private label cards provide businesses with valuable customer data and insights, enabling targeted marketing efforts and personalized experiences.

Private label cards and fintechs

In recent years, fintech platforms have revolutionized the issuance and management of private label cards. These technology-driven companies act as program managers, handling the end-to-end process of card issuance, transaction processing, and compliance adherence. 

By partnering with fintech platforms like Tap, businesses can efficiently launch and manage their private label card programs, leveraging advanced technologies, scalability, and industry expertise without the need for extensive in-house resources.

How private label cards benefit businesses

Private label cards empower businesses to strengthen customer relationships, optimize financial operations, and gain a competitive edge through tailored rewards, data-driven insights, and robust security measures. Let’s explore some of these concepts below:

Drive business

Private label cards offer businesses a range of benefits that can drive customer loyalty, enhance brand recognition, and streamline operations. By offering customizable rewards and loyalty programs tailored to their products or services, businesses can incentivize customers to make repeat purchases while simultaneously collecting data on customer preferences, fostering long-term relationships and brand advocacy.

Cash flow management

Private label cards provide businesses with a valuable tool for cash flow management. By encouraging customers to use their branded cards, companies can receive payments more quickly, improving their working capital and financial flexibility.

Collect data and analytics

One of the key advantages of private label cards is the wealth of data and analytics they provide. Businesses can gain insights into customer spending patterns, preferences, and behaviours, enabling data-driven decision-making and targeted marketing strategies.

Security benefits

Additionally, private label card programs prioritize security and fraud prevention measures. Fintech platforms offering these solutions employ advanced technologies and protocols to safeguard customer information and transactions, providing businesses and their customers with peace of mind.

The differences between private label and co-branded cards

Private label cards are issued by a single retailer or business, bearing their branding and tailored rewards program. Co-branded cards, however, involve a partnership between a merchant and a major card network (Visa, Mastercard), carrying dual branding.

In general, private label cards offer more customization and control for the merchant but may have limited acceptance outside their network. They can also drive stronger loyalty but require more resources to manage.

Co-branded cards, on the other hand, have wider acceptance but less flexibility in terms of rewards/benefits. As they leverage an existing card network's infrastructure, they offer less differentiation.

The choice depends on the merchant's goals; private label are beneficial for deeper customization and loyalty while co-branded cards off wider acceptance and shared resources with a card network partner.

How private label cards work

Private label cards are issued through a collaborative process involving businesses and fintech platforms. Businesses define the card program's features, branding, and reward structure, while fintech platforms handle the technical and operational aspects. As program managers, fintech companies then oversee card issuance, transaction processing, and data management, leveraging their expertise and scalable technologies.

The importance of compliance and adherence to regulatory requirements cannot be underestimated or overlooked when looking at the issuance of private label cards. Fintech platforms need to ensure that card programs comply with industry standards, data privacy laws, and anti-fraud measures, providing businesses with a secure and reliable payment solution. 

Regular audits and risk assessments are conducted to maintain compliance and mitigate potential risks. Businesses must always do their research before engaging in private label card issuance with a fintech platform. 

Examples of use cases

Private label cards can offer a range of use cases across various industries. See several examples below: 

Retail and e-commerce

In the retail and e-commerce sectors, they serve as powerful loyalty tools, incentivizing customers with tailored rewards and exclusive offers. Businesses can leverage these cards to drive repeat purchases and foster brand loyalty. An example would be the Amazon Store Card. 

Corporate expense management

Corporate organizations utilize private label cards for streamlined expense management, enabling employees to make authorized purchases while providing detailed spending data for analysis and budgeting purposes. 

These cards also facilitate employee incentive and recognition programs, rewarding high-performers with customized benefits and privileges. An example of this would be a company card issued to employees to use for company expenses. 

Specific purposes

Additionally, private label cards can be issued as prepaid cards for specific purposes, such as payroll disbursements, gift cards, or restricted-use cards for controlled spending. This versatility allows businesses to tailor card programs to their unique needs, ensuring efficient fund management and targeted usage. 

An example of this could be a corporate-branded preloaded gift card for promotional purposes allowing holders to buy something in-store using the card.

How to create a private label card for your business

With Tap, you can seamlessly integrate private label card programs into your operations. Tap streamlines the entire card issuance and management process, allowing companies to leverage off their advanced technologies and industry expertise. 

By partnering with Tap, you gain access to a scalable and flexible solution, enabling you to launch and adapt card programs efficiently, tailored to your company’s specific needs. Tap's platform offers robust features, real-time analytics, and end-to-end support, empowering every businesses to deliver tailored payment experiences while ensuring compliance and security.

With Tap, you have the power to not only launch and adapt your card programs efficiently but also to customise the fees charged to your users. Our approach is entirely flexible,  allowing you to set charges that align with your clientele's needs. Our platform offers unparalleled freedom, allowing you to tailor your card programs precisely to your company's needs and goals.


In summary, private label cards empower businesses with a versatile payment solution that promotes customer loyalty, optimizes operations, and delivers valuable data insights. Whether for retail, corporate, or specific use cases, private label cards offer a competitive edge through tailored rewards, data-driven strategies, and enhanced customer experiences - paving the way for business growth.

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