What happened in 2019 in mobile payments, digital commerce and card-linking? It was a year of great  progress, accomplishment and milestones. As The CardLinx Association prepares for its seventh year as the de-facto global association for online to offline commerce, it is worthwhile to take a few minutes to consider the great year that our member companies and our association have completed. Growing recognition of card-linking's global scale; worldwide industry expansion; a heightened focus on data privacy; and recognition of O2O momentum and women in leadership. These are just a few of the year's highlights I'm pleased to share with you. Read on...
Merchants and Retailers Embrace CLO
The death of brick-and-mortar retail has been greatly exaggerated. CardLinx, a non-profit trade association with members in 17 countries and on four continents, drove rapid growth for CardLinx member merchants including Harvey Nichols (United Kingdom), LVMH's 24S (France), Aeon (Japan), Hilton (US) and Total Wine (US).
While the shopping landscape is certainly changing, innovative omni-channel approaches are addressing the needs of shoppers and retailers. Card-linking--now an essential weapon in the merchant's arsenal--is enhancing both online and offline experiences, while making the consumer/retailer relationship stronger than ever before.
Card-linking and CardLinx Goes Global
For the first time in its six-year history, CardLinx hosted more conferences outside the US than inside. Four forums were hosted in London, Toronto, Tokyo and Paris. (US conferences were held in Washington DC and San Francisco.) The events are attended by a range of companies--from agile startups to Fortune 500 brands--representing retail, advertising, banking, payments and technology sectors. Forum locations for the first half of 2020 are Tokyo (Mar. 10); San Francisco (April 14); and Paris (June 24). I encourage you to make plans now to attend one of these exclusive and well connected gatherings.
In another first, CardLinx reports that of the top six economies in the world, each has at least one bank publishing card-linked offers. The top economies are the US, China, Japan, Germany, UK and France. In the US, UK and Japan, the majority of top five card issuers now have a card-linking program, and most were introduced to CLO by the CardLinx Association or a member company.
CardLinx Takes Data Standards Lead
Card-linking has significant upside for consumers--as well as merchants, banks and associated parties. Targeting offers that meet customers' needs while saving time and money is clearly a win/win. Yet increasingly, data privacy safeguards are needed to protect sensitive financial data.
As the association representing this industry, we've taken a leadership role in formulating the data principles that help assure privacy while promoting innovation. Read about CardLinx's industry framework of data principles and rights promoting fair, efficient and effective use of financial information.
Our work in this arena has proven timely for members contending with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance program, now in its first full year, and for those entering 2020 with a new compliance requirement under the California Consumer Privacy Act. We're committed to prioritizing privacy as we continue to expand our mission.
A League of Our Own--CardLinx Awards
In 2019, we were pleased to host the first-ever O2O Industry Awards recognizing outstanding online-to-offline achievement. Honoring excellence in several categories, including the Founder's Award, Entrepreneur of The Year, Product Collaboration of the Year and Best Consumer Experience, the inaugural awards ceremony was a highlight of the year.
Women Leaders Take Charge in O2O
Card-linking emerged as an industry rich with a diverse pool of leaders. The CardLinx Association recently highlighted the  top 10 women executives in our field  from companies as varied as Apple, Bank of America and Rakuten. We commend these stand-out individuals who are making significant strides in the advancement of online-to-offline commerce.
On behalf of the entire CardLinx team, I thank you for your support in the past 12 months, and look forward to  a great 2020. All of us are proud to work closely with you, our valued members, to be a driving force for our industry.


Silvio Tavares
President and CEO
The CardLinx Association
The CardLinx Association