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Clutch aims to standardize loyalty redemption via bar code technology


Deal aggregator application Clutch is adding bar code scanning capabilities into its app to help streamline the coupon redemption process.

Using the new technology, consumers can scan loyalty, gift and membership cards to create a digital version within the Clutch app. The mobile bar code scanning feature works for Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 devices and is powered by Mobeam.

“Bar codes continue to be the most prevalent way for consumers to redeem their gift and loyalty cards and coupons at the point-of-sale,” said Andy O’Dell, chief commercial officer at Clutch, Philadelphia.

“They want the convenience of digitizing their cards using the Clutch app, but experience difficulty when they present these to cashiers,” he said.

“The aim with this new feature is to ensure near 100 percent scan success for consumers that have digitized their gift, loyalty and membership cards into the Clutch mobile wallet, removing one of the most significant barriers to adoption.”

Storing digital coupons?
Once consumers have scanned a card, a mobile device can then be instantly redeemed at the point-of-sale.

Similar to other third-party coupon and loyalty apps, Clutch is positioned to be a hub where consumers can manage digital versions of all their favorite loyalty and membership programs.

In addition, Clutch’s app also integrates local deal and offers that consumers can buy or “Like” on Facebook.

The deals are pulled in from sites including Travelzoo and LivingSocial and can also be filtered to show nearby locations. Offers are also sorted into categories including fashion, gadgets, beauty and pet products.

Moreover, consumers can buy digital gift cards from retailers including Gilt, Zappos and Nike via the app.

A screenshot of Clutch

Bolstering the third-party app
At the same time that the mobile wallet space is growing, there are still plenty of bumps around the path to purchase for both consumers and merchants.

On the consumer side, there are a plethora of third-party apps that each promise consumers and merchants something different, from RetailMeNot, SnipSnap, Front Flip and Belly.

Additionally, fraud issues around sharing coupons are still an issue.

For any of these third-party apps to take off, marketers must push out customized, personalized offers.

“Once the issue of accounting, fraud and expiring codes get more clearly defined, that’s when you’ll see these programs being used in some interesting and compelling ways,” Mr. O’Dell said.

“There is so much that can be done around creating contextually relevant, time-sensitive and personalized offers in real-time using mobility and the analytics tool and delivery method,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York