) -- Banks and credit card companies have pumped up rewards programs as more consumers shop online and mobile devices for this Cyber Monday and holiday season.
More than 78 percent of consumers say the Internet will play a role in their holiday gift shopping, according to a report by
. A large set of those consumers will be paying for gifts with debit cards due to the uncertainty in the economy and unemployment. In fact, 43 percent of shoppers plan to use debit cards , 26 percent plan to use cash and 28 percent plan to use credit cards, according to a report conducted by the National Retail Federation.
Several banks such as
JP Morgan Chase
are promoting their reward programs for consumers this holiday season to take advantage of Cyber Monday buying .
Chase has put together a
gift cards to shoppers that spend to a certain limit. Wells Fargo also launched a rewards program for debit and credit users called the
where shoppers can find deals with 600 merchants and earn points for shopping.
However, due to changes in debit interchange this may be the last year that banks will offer shoppers rewards points as many such as JP Morgan are
canceling their rewards programs.
"We could see these rewards programs disappear after this year because the Debit Interchange Laws will mean a lot less revenue will be coming from debit card transactions," said Celent senior analyst Red Gillen. "Credit cards rewards programs could follow."
One way banks may be able to get around this rule is by directly partnering with merchants to offer rewards program. That's exactly what
has done in its partnership with
. Under these programs merchants will pay for the rewards, but are able to develop closer relationships with their consumers, says Gillen.
With consumers using credit cards diminshes, credit card networks such as American Express,
have also been concentrating on innovative ways to partner with merchants and consumers to make transactions seamless and boost the knowledge of their rewards programs.
American Express recently launched
to give cardholders, bonus points, discounts and free shipping. The service taps into American Expresses' rewards program offers and discounts in search engines or on websites as a consumer shops online.
"We think this is a program that will increase user value and usage," says Bradley Minor, a spokesperson for American Express.
American Express is also working on bolstering its payment platform. The company acquired an e-payment platform
in 2009 and improvements to the platform are currently under development. In a similar move, MasterCard acquired
"Consumers are concerned about online credit and debit transactions and that is why other payment options such as
have become popular ways for shopper to pay for transactions," said Zilvinas Bareisis is a senior analyst within Celent's Banking group.
Mobile phone transactions are also on the rise. The convenience of online transactions to consumers has prompted businesses to create platforms for marketing rewards programs and discounts on social networks such as
as well as applications for the iPhone, iPad, and other mobile devices.
"In terms of mobile transactions, most are placed on debit and credit cards or through e-platforms like PayPal. From a bank perspective these transactions look similar, like online transactions," said Gillen.
By the holidays next year, many banks such as
Bank of America
and Wells Fargo as well as credit card providers such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express will have smartphone payment technology in place so that consumers can make payments without using a debit or credit cards. These technologies are currently in trial period.
--Written by Maria Woehr in New York.
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