Credit Karma Launches Instant Karma Rewards

You can thank Gen Z’s “I want it now” mentality for Credit Karma’s freshest release. Dubbed Instant Karma, the newest product is the latest to come from Credit Karma Money, the company’s challenger banking service.

According to TechCrunch, which covered the launch, Instant Karma rewards users by randomly reimbursing their purchases.

Credit Karma General Manager Poulomi Damany told TechCrunch that, since the purpose behind Credit Karma Money is to “change people’s relationship with money” the new rewards product is an extension of that goal.

There are two major differentiating factors of Instant Karma over traditional payments rewards programs. The first is that the rewards are issued based on purchases made on debit cards, not credit cards. That’s because, as Credit Karma Product Manager Kyle Thibaut said, “Gen Z do not necessarily like credit cards. When you talk to them, they like debit cards and debit cards are the way they spend. Debit card usage is higher than credit cards in the U.S., and it’s actually growing while credit card usage is declining.”

The second point of differentiation is that the reward is issued the instant the user makes the transaction. Traditional cash-back programs, in contrast, will only issue rewards based on a time scale (eg., monthly) or once they reach a certain threshold (eg., the balance reaches $25).

So far, Credit Karma has rewarded $5 million in rewards on 100,000 transactions.

Founded in 2007, Credit Karma added a checking feature to its Credit Karma Money suite in October of last year. This complements the savings tool the company launched in October of 2019, when it initiated its entrance into the neobanking space. Prior to this, Credit Karma operated solely in the financial wellness space, in which it continues to offer its 110 million members access to credit scoring data, loan and credit card marketplaces, identity monitoring, and tax filing tools.

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