Kunai Enables Major Credit Card Network to Access Untapped Market By Redefining Loyalty Program Platform

What is Major Credit Card Network?
Fortune 500 company
Contracted Kunai to build new Perks Platform in 2019

The Challenge

Around 2018, Client recognized a gap in the loyalty and rewards space– one that could potentially be solved with the help of robust cloud implementation.

Rewards programs have always skewed to large merchants who boasted massive customer bases. Over the years, the retail landscape has radically changed with the introduction of e-commerce and direct to consumer business models.

Despite already having multiple perks and rewards platforms, all of the major credit card networks had overlooked a massive demographic: highly lucrative businesses who didn’t quite hit the 10MM revenue requirement to be considered for their major rewards programs.

Client sought to offer card members perks and rewards from partners with the potential to perform well on a benefits platform like Peloton, Turo, and Rent the Runway.

However, Client wouldn’t be able to build a new platform on top of their existing systems. Although their existing system could support new partners, the behind-the-scenes machinery was home to complex integrations that demanded a time and labor investment not feasible for rapidly onboarding a large number of partners.

Client would have to create a new platform from the ground up with robust scalability and future proofed infrastructure in mind.

The Solution

A Modernized Cloud Platform

The idea was to create a platform geared towards partnering with smaller merchants and delivering intriguing offers to card members. Immediately, Client knew that development would have to happen on the AWS cloud platform. Much of Client’s systems were already operating on AWS, and this would allow for rapid deployment and robust scalability.

An MVP (minimum viable product) would also have to be built and promoted to smaller, rapidly growing third party merchants during an early-adopter campaign to validate the platform and set the stage for further development.

With their deep expertise in the rewards field, mastery of the AWS suite of technologies, and reputation for fast and reliable development– Client contracted Kunai to design, develop, and bring to market the new Perks Platform. They would be responsible for everything from fast early prototypes and MVP builds to the large-scale operation of the future multimillion-dollar value platform.

The Process

Building an MVP

Kunai’s teams spent three months building the rewards MVP. Through a series of workshops and design sprints, Kunai defined the scope of the MVP and deployed a scrum team to work within Client’s tech stack.


AWS was utilized to seamlessly integrate the new platform into Client’s existing AWS ecosystem, as well as to take advantage of its incredible scalability, reliability, and flexibility.

AWS served as the backbone for all operations– object storage and retrieval, data modeling, content delivery, serverless applications, automated traffic distribution, robust infrastructure, automated in-memory caching for improved performance, scalable cloud DNS, automated data metrics and events, full visualizations of operational KPI, and security.


Kunai integrated Sentry into the new platform in order to capture and report errors, crashes, and other events in real time. Its detailed error reports allow for rapid response times, allowing developers to improve the overall quality and reliability of the application. Sentry.io also provides performance monitoring and release tracking to help Kunai gain insight into how the platform performs and to improve the development process.


Snyk was used to monitor all the open source dependencies being utilized in Client’s tech stack during the development process in order to detect and fix vulnerabilities in real time.


Kunai utilized FreshPing to automatically monitor performance metrics such as page load time, response time, and other KPI. FreshPing sends alerts to Kunai and notifies the development team of any issues with website uptime so as to take corrective action as soon as possible.


IPAPI offers real-time geolocation and reverse IP lookup, allowing Kunai’s devs and engineers to customize user experiences, improve security, or perform other functions that depend on knowing the location of the user.


Thanks to SonarCloud’s coding best-practice evaluator functions, Kunai’s teams could deliver clean code consistently and efficiently while extending CI/CD workflow.

Advancing Towards Deployment

After Kunai finalized the MVP features and the UX design for Client’s platform, the MVP shipped in early 2020 with its first merchant partner. After seeing significant success with card member participation in the early-adopter campaign, Kunai set to flesh out ancillary features before launching the official release build.

The Result

Multi-Million Dollar Perks Platform

Kunai designed and launched Client’s custom ecosystem for introducing smaller merchant partners to their loyalty and rewards program.

The final build included an administration portal designed to track performance, was built and operated in the public cloud, and could manage multiple campaign constructs.

The merchant onboarding process could be largely automated and cut down a months-long process into a few scant weeks.

The platform also gives Client the option to engage with customers in a far more personalized manner than before. Customers could be sent rewards and updates wherever they are through email, text, in-person NFC areas, and other touchpoints.

What took months for implementation, onboarding, customization, and campaigning could now be executed in weeks, allowing Client to expand its loyalty offerings to high growth small businesses.

A Wild Success

After an initial launch, the Perks Platform has seen tremendous growth. Card holders rushed to engage with highly popular brands that had yet to be included in other major rewards programs. Since then, Client has maintained a comfortable lead in the loyalty space, strongly defending their position as the platform reliably scaled to engage millions of card holders and small business partners in record time.

As of today (2023), the Perks Platform built by Kunai handles millions of page views and generates multimillion-dollar benefits for the network’s cardholders on an annual basis.

An Evolving Collaboration

Having secured the Perks Platform’s success, Kunai has continued to maintain its operability and develop new features to rollout to card holders. Kunai’s teams have been working on scaling the platform even more by providing design, development, and security services

“Working on the Perks Platform for Client definitely has to be one of the greatest achievements of my career. We helped redefine an entire submarket that many had already deemed ‘solved’, and it’s not every day that you get an opportunity like that. As we continue to develop the Perks Platform, I’m sure I can speak for everyone on our teams when I say that I’m excited to see where this platform goes.” - Nelson Pereira, Kunai.