The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Tempo – decoupled debit card

I came across Tempo on Netbanker – they will be presenting at the upcoming Finovate.  Tempo are focussed on a space I have high hopes for – general disaggregation of banking services.  In the case of Tempo they are in the de-coupled debit card market, something Capital One dabbled in 18 months ago.

Not much detail, but their value proposition is one of customer loyalty points attached to the card.  While that is the obvious play, I remain convinced the power in this model will extend further.  I say this because loyalty points have a limited appeal to a certain group and feel additional value can be attached to the card to provided deeper and broader appeal.

For example, what if a decoupled card was attached to Wesabe?  Every transaction would be captured and analysed in the Wesabe eco-system.  No more downloading from online banking.

Anyhow, I digress … Tempo is one to watch.  The loyalty approach is a practical beginning to the de-coupled card.


Tempo is an entrepreneurial technology company focused on payments innovation. The company specializes in decoupled debit enablement.

Tempo is privately held and is headquartered in San Mateo, CA.

Written by Colin Henderson

March 29, 2009 at 23:07

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Loyalty points have “limited appeal”? Maybe in Canada, but not in US. More than half of all credit cards are tied to loyalty programs, and quality of the loyalty program was the #1 factor influencing consumers’ choice of cards (among consumers who already had one card in their wallet).

    Ron Shevlin

    March 30, 2009 at 07:53

  2. @Ron – thats a fair comment. Limited is too strong a word – I was thinking that loyalty is not important to everyone, but then as you imply that characteristic could apply to all.

    In Canada the biggest are Air Miles and CIBC Aerogold. I am not sure what percentage they might reflect along with the others. If anyone has stats on that, feel free to chip in.


    March 30, 2009 at 22:03

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