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Visa enhances offers platform with location-based deals

Being able to contextually target offers based on a user’s location is one of the benefits that mobile offers marketers and a nut that many are trying to crack. Visa will enable merchants to deliver a personalized text message or email to customers who have opted in to the program while they are shopping nearby.

“Smarter commerce means having the right offer, delivered to the right customer at the right time,” said Jim McCarthy, global head of products at Visa, Foster City, CA.

“Visa’s new real-time point-of-sale redemption platform is a great example of Visa’s ability to apply its processing and technology expertise to simplify the use of offers and discounts, bringing benefits to merchants, acquirers, issuers and consumers,” he said.

Locally relevant
Location-based offers can be a great way for merchants to drive traffic into their stores.

This is why numerous merchants as well as mobile apps are building these types of offers into their programs.

For example, Groupon recently added a universal search feature to its iPhone and Android applications so that users can easily sort through the company’s growing inventory of deals and find offers from nearby merchants (see story).

Apple’s Passbook is another way that retailers are delivering location-based offers, with users able to store location-tagged offers into Passbook and then receive a reminder that it is there when they enter that store.

Many merchants also continue to work with foursquare to deliver offers when users check-in at a location.

The payment networks have synced up with many of these third-party offerings. For example, Mastercard, Visa and American Express are all integrated with foursquare.

The major difference with the new offers from Visa appears to be that they are not tied to an app but instead are integrated directly with a user’s credit card. Users simply have to opt-in to receive the offers.

Tailored offers
The Visa program will give retailers and financial institutions the ability to deliver offers that are tailored to individual customers, through email, Web and mobile and tied directly to a user’s Visa card account.

Visa wants to give merchants and consumers a way to eliminate paper coupons so that users can earn points and discounts as well as redeem special offers instantly at checkout using their enrolled Visa card.

Visa will leverage its payments processing network, VisaNet, to enable the delivery of offers.

Other new capabilities include the ability to use real-time messaging capabilities to identify and reward loyal customers as well as support for both Visa-specific and third-party offer programs.

The platform also provides retailers and issuers data insights and analytics to measure the point-of-sale redemption rate, allowing them to create customized and more relevant offers.

To enable the program, the Visa Offers platform has been enhanced to support real-time redemption at the point of sale. This means users can instantly see the deduction on their receipt as opposed to having to wait until it shows up in their next credit card statement.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York