Placecast, which allows retail brands and operators to push out location-based offers to mobile users, is now making its ShopAlerts technology available to mobile payment and mobile wallet providers. With ShopAlerts Wallet, retailers, operators or credit card companies with existing payment apps will be able to incorporate ShopAlerts into their apps using Placecast APIs or they’ll be able to build a white label HTML5 wallet that can work on any smartphone.
ShopAlerts Wallet gives mobile payment services a key feature, which adds value to both merchants and consumers. Increasingly, we’re seeing that a mobile payment solution is not enough by itself to really compete with cash and credit. It’s about providing services that go beyond the actual transaction and demonstrate the added utility of a mobile wallet. With ShopAlerts Wallet, consumers will have a better reason to use a mobile wallet app because they can save money with offers and merchants will have another channel to reach nearby consumers and walk them into the store. ShopAlerts Wallet also allows payment apps to close the loop on offer redemption, so marketers will be able to see how effective their offers are.
Consumers using ShopAlert Wallet will be able to discover offers or merchants by viewing them on a map or searching by their location, keyword or category. Users will be able to set their preferences for what offers they want to receive via SMS or push notification and they can manage and share their offers via Facebook or Twitter in their inbox.
ShopAlerts Wallet will work with existing payment providers and can tie offers to card swipes, carrier billing transactions or NFC tap-and-go purchases. It can also store and manage tickets, gift cards, brand reward cards and transit passes from third party services. The company said it’s already working with several credit card issuers and mobile operators to provide customized wallets.
Placecast uses geo-fencing technology leveraging carrier location information and device GPS to send targeted ads to users who opt in to discounts. The company recently passed 10 million users on its ShopAlerts platform. More than a 130 brands are on ShopAlerts such as K-Mart, The North Face, HP, Starbucks, Loreal, and Subway.
Alistair Goodman, CEO of Placecast, told me the bigger opportunity in local commerce is not in payments, which is just a $100 billion market, but in local marketing and loyalty, which is worth $400 to $500 billion. Retail brands are eager to find a way to drive more real-world transactions, he said. And with the growth of more mobile wallet applications from both brands but also credit card companies and operators, it makes sense to arm those apps with location-based offers that can appeal to consumers.
“All mobile wallets will incorporate an element of mobile offers; that’s the reason to use that wallet, to get something valuable as a result,” Goodman said. “If you frame it as a valuable service and deliver on that promise, the consumers sees it as a service they don’t see it as marketing.”
This echoes what we’ve been hearing from people like Walt Doyle, the former CEO of WHERE who is now GM of PayPal Media Network. He told me earlier this year that mobile payments and location-based offers go hand in hand. Every wallet will need to have this kind of a service and the best of the them will target users based on a variety of factors including location, search and purchase data. Now, many wallet offerings already have some form of offers though they are not always tied closely to location. But Placecast could be a good option for those that don’t have an offers tool. And it could bolster the offer programs for those that do, giving them a new level of location-based targeting.