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Banks to board beacon bandwagon and reach mall shoppers

The financial services sector has an opportunity to leverage beacons to reach app users in shopping malls via a new program enabling banks to deliver location-based offers.

Mobiquity Networks’ partnership with Relevant Solutions, a provider of branded and white-label mobile applications, means any shopper with a financial institution’s app on a smartphone can opt in to receive offers from brands and mall-store merchants and be prompted to pay with that particular institution’s card. Besides opening an additional revenue source for banks and credit unions, the agreement lets the institutions engage app users well beyond the activity of payments and account-balance inquiries.

“Credit card marketers like Visa, MasterCard and American Express and issuing banks like Citibank, Chase, Wells Fargo and others regularly use valuable merchant offers to encourage credit card usage and loyalty,” said Jim Meckley, chief marketing officer of Mobiquity Networks.

“Leveraging Mobiquity Networks’ platform to deliver those offers as the consumer is entering the shopping mall adds location context in real-time to make the offers highly relevant and gives Relevant Solutions’ clients a distinct advantage.”

Receiving offers
In select beaconed areas, bank and credit union members who elect to receive notifications will now see offers and information from surrounding merchants. Notifications will appear on the user’s home screen and drive visits to the financial institution’s app.

Financial institutions are aligning themselves with beacons.


The partnership gives a potential 2,500 financial institutions an opportunity to bring branded, local offers to users of their apps.

By employing the Mobiquity-Relevant system, financial institutions will be able to tap into an active mobile user base. Mobile users will be able to check their account balance or make a payment through Mobiquity’s real-time beacon network.

More than half of U.S. smartphone users have conducted mobile banking in the last 12 months, the U.S. Federal Reserve reported last March. Meanwhile, 12 percent of mobile phone users who are not using mobile banking think that they will probably use it within the next year.

The Mobiquity-Relevant system is a way for financial institutions to provide additional value to customers while striving to drive more revenue and loyalty.

The system’s scale, fee income potential and location relevancy helps the institutions monetize the mobile channel, while increasing engagement.

“Mobiquity Networks adds a additional way to monetize the mobile to mortar path to purchase before payment for our clients,” said James Peil, CEO of Relevant Solutions. “Relevant Solutions’ mission is to make sure our clients apps are the last app opened at the point of sale.

“Mobile coupons presents this opportunity and also allow us to present a ‘top of wallet’ reminder or access a mobile payment option that does not compete with them,” he said.

Beacons are growing more prominent in financial services as consumers grow more comfortable with opting in to release data in exchange for relevant, personalized experiences that streamline bank visits.

Making experiences personal
U.S. Bank late last year predicted that banks and financial institutions will see beacon usage take off in 2015, helping deliver more personalized experiences. Barclays bank also is rolling out beacon technology to better cater to customers with special needs.

Banks, already embracing mobile payments, are looking closely at beacons.

“One of the greatest challenges for our mobile banking partners and financial institutions has been increasing the adoption, engagement and monetization opportunities of their mobile channel,” Mr. Peil said.

“The relationship with Mobiquity Networks provides a proven method for our clients to engage their customers with contextually relevant offers at the most critical time, right before the point of sale.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York