Another Unbelievable Year on the Books

Going into 2023, I’m confident in our people and the quality of the ideas we’re putting out into the marketplace

Last year, I wrote a little summary of the big year we had in 2021. After a year of startling growth, we were hungry to keep the momentum going through 2022: more product features, larger issuer and merchant networks, and a bigger Kard team pushing everything forward. We set aggressive internal goals that I fully expected our people to surpass.

That’s exactly what they did.

A Bigger Reach

In 2022, our team set goals that focused on growing each aspect of our business. The most important measure of our success, in my eyes, is whether Kard actually provides value for each side of our marketplace. That means that while we wanted to increase the number of merchants on the platform as well as the number of issuers using Kard’s software, what really matters is driving value once our merchants and issuers are on the network. I think the numbers speak for themselves: 

  • Increased the number of cardholders earning offers through Kard by 6x. This metric is near and dear to my heart. I started Kard because I missed out on a bunch of rewards and wanted to make it so consumers never had to again. The more cardholders seamlessly earning rewards, the further we are on our way towards that goal.
  • Increased spend at our merchant partners by 8x. Merchants are looking for new and better ways to reach consumers, and Kard’s unique model gives them the flexibility to do so. We’re driving real value for our merchant partners while helping issuers and their cardholders at the same time. 
  • Processing millions of transactions a day. I still remember the first transaction running through our APIs (fine, it was me with my Current card…). Seeing how far we’ve come in less than 3 years is mind-blowing, and I’m beyond grateful to our team for being able to succeed under this immense growth. 

A Better Machine

The Kard product suite is the core of our business and what allows us to accomplish everything we have. Our APIs power rewards you’re familiar with in the banking industry, like cashback and loyalty points. The product and engineering teams made a lot of headway with big features and launches this past year. We saw dramatic improvements to our offer targeting engine, allowing merchants to customize who receives offers, and what types of offers, based on the specific behaviors they want to drive. Our issuer portal also went live, giving our card issuers a more tangible experience with the Kard platform. And we made steady improvements to the matching algorithm that powers our rewards, as well as the transaction reporting and monitoring process. We also continue to focus on and make enhancements to our security program, keeping compliance and risk mitigation front and center. While we built our platform such that it doesn’t require sensitive consumer information, we want to make sure all our partners know security is still a top concern. 

As our director of product Dan McCarthy wrote in his blog last week, the big focus for 2023 is on expanding beyond our core offering and helping both sides of our market continue to offer increasingly more customized rewards and loyalty solutions. We’re calling this “account loyalty” internally; it’s something our customers are asking for already, and I’m excited to see what we can build for them.

The Kard team all smiles on their way around town at our recent offsite

More Deft Hands on Deck

There’s always a temptation to think about companies as monolithic entities, something like the “machine” and “engine” concepts I use when talking about the product itself. Obviously, though, Kard is only possible because of our people. Nothing happens here that wasn’t thought up, designed, planned, built, tested, fixed, launched, and maintained by a person on our team. No big-logo partnership comes along that isn’t rooted in a relationship maintained by someone at Kard. So, when I think about “growing the business,” I think of bringing on the right people and the right number of people. We achieved excellent growth in our engineering, product, and sales teams this past year. We’ll be maintaining that momentum this coming year. We won’t just be adding headcount – we’ll be bringing on people who can ask the right big questions, see the larger picture and pay attention to the little details, and get their hands dirty understanding the needs of each of our customers. 

The Next Twelve Months

I’m confident in Kard’s position going into 2023, because I’m confident in our people and the quality of the ideas we’re putting out into the marketplace. The tech downturn notwithstanding, something seismic is happening in the banking and payments industry. It’s never been easier to launch a powerful card experience. Fintechs with a vision quickly turn to us to power their rewards, and the work we’re doing together is turning heads in traditional banking as well. We’re really on our way to making loyalty more rewarding. 

We’ll be shutting down the whole (cyber) office for about a week this winter. From the 23rd of December to the 1st of January we’ll be recreating, relaxing, and spending time with our friends and family. Just like you, I’m already seeing beaches and skis and kids in red pajamas in the less-moderated Slack channels. We’ll be back at it in earnest after our well-earned rest. 

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. And to the Kard team, as we close out the year: Thank you. You made all of this happen.