Opportunity: Building a user-permissioned, data-driven future
Attain was founded in 2019 with a vision to empower consumers to leverage their own data – their greatest asset – in exchange for modern financial services. Today, Attain allows consumers to access rewards, early wages, and savings tools, in exchange for their permissioned commerce data, which Attain leverages to measure real-time outcomes for our advertisers.
“On the B2C front, Attain has a suite of mobile apps that are available to all consumers in the United States,” said Eric Minkley, Data Product Lead at Attain. “Consumers share their permissioned purchase transactions with us in the form of receipts, loyalty links, bank, credit or debit card links, answers to survey questions, and more. Consumers get financial benefits or monetary rewards in exchange for permissioned data. On the B2B side, we use that permissioned data to help marketers achieve better outcomes from a programmatic advertising standpoint for their digital campaigns.”
As part of making their vision for a user-permissioned data future a reality, the team at Attain (formerly Klover) connected with Microblink to stand up a robust tech stack for data collection. At the time, Microblink was known for their paper receipt scanning solution.
“Attain leverages Microblink’s tech to link together this two-sided market that we serve,” said Minkley. “Our integration with BlinkReceipt helps us ingest and collect purchase data on the B2C side, which is then enriched into product-level insights that become more useful on the B2B side.”
Selecting Microblink: Delivering SKU-level data insights at scale
As two start-ups, the founding teams at Attain and Microblink were working together to develop their technologies. While Attain was leveraging BlinkReceipt before Minkley joined the company, “if you think about the data collection mechanism that we’ve built, and are still building, the consumer apps were built alongside Microblink’s core receipt tech. There wasn’t an existing process for capturing and collecting receipt-level transaction data before we first started working together.”
As is often the case with Microblink clients, the decision to work together was more a question of “specialize and conquer” as Minkley put it, as opposed to buy versus build. This makes sense when you consider the time, resources, engineering expertise, and constant iteration required to be good at each specific piece of the puzzle that makes up a modern, frictionless user experience like the one Attain delivers across its B2C apps.
“From a decision-making standpoint, Attain wants to focus on being the experts at engaging consumers in our apps and in helping our B2B partners leverage that data,” said Minkley. “Working with Microblink allows us to focus on those things. It lets Attain be good at our side of the equation, while Microblink can remain experts in purchase data extraction and enrichment.”
When you factor in Microblink’s ability to deliver product-level insights, the decision to partner becomes even clearer. Microblink’s product intelligence engine, which is powered by its catalog of more than 15 million products, enables SKU-level insights at scale, which clients use to validate purchases, reward promotions, and drive market research with confidence.
Microblink’s products and services are used by a large swath of the Attain team, across Product, Engineering, and Analytic functions, meaning the offering needs to serve a variety of stakeholder needs at the same time – from end-user expectations and internal development team requirements, to supporting the company’s long-term strategy. As a data company, Attain is constantly thinking about how they can enable the right kind and the right volumes of data, which includes determining how to best scale the product-level data that is provided through Microblink.
“In terms of key stakeholders, there are people like me, who are on the product management data strategy team, asking questions around how we go about collecting consumer transaction data and what tech or SDK we need to build into our app,” said Minkley. “There’s also the other side of the coin, which is our engineering team – both back-end and front-end – who are doing the integration work in our mobile apps and data infrastructure.”
When it comes to integrating, as two fast-moving companies that are both iterating quickly to push things out, there’s been lots of learning and adjustments to evolve to a more proactive approach together. “We have a regular product touchbase, which has been great at organizing feedback and streamlining communication, and we continue to see Microblink invest in that area,” noted Minkley.
Impact: To 75 million product line items – and beyond
More broadly, Attain continues to trust Microblink because the technology allows them to collect the type of data they need from consumer app users, at scale and with ease. “Out of the box, the solutions for scanning paper receipts and account linking delivers an easy, reliable user experience in our apps. There’s not a lot of modification or development work required to enable an intuitive UX, and from the end-user perspective, it’s really clear what to do, where to go, etc.”
Going forward, Attain looks forward to working with Microblink to empower more consumers to take full ownership of their data, which includes an increasingly digital perspective on what consumers are buying online via various channels.
“When we think about how much commerce goes through the online space, even outside everywhere that you can link a loyalty account today, there’s still a lot of transaction volume,” said Minkley. “The more holistic we can make the picture of our user transactions across all merchants, online and off, the better.”
To date, Attain has collected over 75,000,000 product line items across their consumer apps, leveraging Microblink’s receipt scanning and account linking solutions. On the account linking front, this includes access to historical purchase information, going as far back as when the account was created. When consumers link to specific merchant accounts, Microblink’s tech is able to pull in full, detailed purchase order information, providing precise historical data.
“We’ve hit a large milestone together, but we just want that to continue to grow over time,” concluded Minkley. “We feel like we’re just getting started. Part of fueling that long-term growth is getting all the integrations right, which involves technology like Microblink, but also thinking about our overall user acquisition strategy. We’re going to continue to do everything we can to see incredibly healthy growth in our product data collection.”