Valley National Bank enables contactless payments for businesses, consumers
Customers who have a checking account at Valley National Bank can sign up for a BlingTag. The BlingTag is a quarter-sized microchip sticker that adheres to the back of a handset to enable contactless transactions directly from a debit account.
“Our strategy is trying to keep dollars local and building relationships with our local businesses,” said Denise Carder, marketing director for Valley National Bank. “The merchants are really liking Bling because their fees are so much lower.
“The target demographic is really for anyone, but this is something to try and target the younger generation,” she said. “Our customer base is getting older and this is a good way to target a new generation.”
Valley National Bank is a branch of Girard National Bank and has been family owned and operated for more than 90 years.
Bling Nation mobile payment services connect local financial institutions and businesses, letting customers use their mobile devices to tap and pay for purchases and receive text account balance and transaction confirmations at the point of sale.
Every time a purchase is made using BlingTag, a consumer receives a transaction confirmation and account balance by text message.
Valley National Bank customers receive five percent cash back instantly with every Bling transaction up to $100.
“It’s a very simple process: Tap the BlingTag on a participating merchant with a blinger and it comes directly out of your checking account sending you a text message showing how much your purchase was, where you purchased, your checking account balance and any rewards you’ve earned,” Ms. Carder said. “We happen to offer 5 percent in rewards back.
“It’s evolving into areas I would have never imagined – paying for a purchase with a tag on your phone,” she said.
This is not the first time that a bank has used the Bling Nation service.
Community State Bank uses BlingTag and as of April, it has seen a 55 percent increase in business accounts since offering the service (see story).
“Valley National Bank is very community-centric and a good fit for Bling Nation,” said Rod Stambaugh, general manager of Bling Nation, San Francisco.
“Valley National Bank’s customers are getting older, but these older customers see a value in the security of real-time transaction balances,” he said. “Bling Nation’s mobile payments service appeals both to the older and younger generation.
“When people used to think about mobile commerce, people thought about making purchases online. Now, it’s moving offline to brick and mortar establishments.”