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Empyr Powering Yelp’s New Cash Back Program


Commerce monetization company Empyr announced yesterday that crowdsourced reviews-giant Yelp is the latest company to join its card-linked offers empire. Yelp launched Yelp Cash Back, which uses a card-linked rewards service powered by San Diego-based Empyr.yelp

Founded in 2015, Empyr seeks to help marketers track and monetize the data captured in the 93% of transactions that happen offline. Its online-to-offline (O2O) commerce solution offers an API that helps online publishers, such as Yelp, display offers from offline advertisers. When consumers pay at a participating merchant using a credit or debit card they’ve linked with the platform, Empyr’s partnership with the three major credit card companies facilitates a credit to the user’s account on a monthly basis.

Empyr’s parent company MOGUL was cofounded by Jon Carder in 2010. In an interview with Forbes, Carder, who currently serves as Empyr CEO, said:

Utilizing Empyr’s real-time offline purchase tracking, Yelp, for the first time, can show a brand how many online impressions they got and exactly how much those consumers spent in their stores. Knowing the in-store revenue driven from digital marketing allows a brand to calculate, rather than guess, their ROI. This is a game-changer for marketers who are trying to drive traffic into physical stores.

To start reaping rewards, Yelp users search cash back in the app and will see the range of businesses that participate in the program. After linking their credit and/or debit cards, users will automatically, on a monthly basis, be credited 10% of their purchase amount back. This not only helps businesses attract and retain customers, but also ensures top-of-wallet for the card issuers and, in the end, makes the customer happy.

Yelp Cash Back is now available at participating bars and restaurants in major cities across the U.S. Yelp reports that while the rewards service is not available for online orders or food delivery, it will be expanding the service to more brick-and-mortar restaurants in the future. In addition to its partnership with Yelp, Empyr also fuels card-linked rewards for Microsoft Earn, LivingSocial’s Restaurant Plus program,’s rewards program, and the Swagbucks Local app.

CEO Jon Carder debuted Empyr at FinovateSpring 2016. The company has raised $35 million from its parent company MOGUL and has 60 employees.