Discover Financial Services has invested in loyalty rewards outfit Buzz Points for an undisclosed fee as part of a $19m funding round.
Buzz Points is a free feature on debit cards enrolled with the loyalty program, which can be redeemed for gift cards from a variety of local businesses.
The points are automatically credited to the buyers’ account, with local businesses that join as Buzz Point merchants then offering bonus points, eLoyalty cards and gift card rewards for the users.
The investment follows the relationship established in 2012 between Buzz Points and Discover-owned interbank electronic funds transfer network, Pulse Network.
Pulse and Buzz Points have been in partnership working on a loyalty program for financial institutions aiming to encourage customers to shop at local merchants.
Through the program, Buzz Points has processed over $1.8bn transactions authorised by financial institutions.
Dave Schneider, president of Pulse, commented: "After evaluating several debit card loyalty programs, Buzz Points emerged as a leader and has demonstrated its value to issuers, consumers and merchants.
"The investment enhances our efforts to leverage Buzz Points’ technology throughout the network, while giving our issuers an outstanding merchant-centred loyalty program," he added.
The funding round was led by Lead Edge Ventures, alongside existing investors including KEC Ventures and Greycroft Ventures.
Buzz Point says it will use the money to expand its marketing platform for local businesses and attract more banks and credit unions to its program.