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Visa, Uber see symbiotic benefits with localized rewards

Visa and Uber are modernizing rewards programs by offering incentives to spend with each platform in a cross-channel loyalty program that keeps the focus on local business.

The two companies are creating a cross-platform rewards program in which ride-share users can earn discounts by using their credit card at local merchants. The idea is to drive sales through Visa at local merchants while simultaneously driving Uber rides.

“Our partnership with Uber and local businesses is a great example of Visa’s ability to deliver value to businesses and consumers in a way that is simple and seamless,” said Terry Angelos, vice president of loyalty and offers at Visa.

Localizing mobile offers
Uber Local Offers is making its debut in Los Angeles and San Francisco, allowing users the ability to earn discounted rides at nearby chain retailers such as Nordstrom, Whole Foods, Dunkin’ Donuts and Walgreens as well as local businesses. Users on the ride-sharing application can input their Visa credit card information to earn points for discounted rides.

Visa owners must use the same card listed on their Uber account to earn rewards. Shoppers at partnered retailers who use the linked credit card will start to earn discounts for rides on Uber the more they spend.

One dollar spent with Visa at local merchants is equivalent to one point. Once Visa cardholders are rewarded with 100 points, they will receive ten dollars off their next Uber ride.

Retailer suggestions will also be provided within the Uber app under a separate tab, titled local offers. Users must sign up for the program and can do so by clicking the enroll button within the local offers tab.

Uber Local is being promoted with a comedic video ad, featuring actress Kaley Cuoco explaining the program’s benefits. Ms. Cuoco shows up to local merchants to spread the word of the new program to diners and offers to pay their bills, somewhat frightening them.

Cross platform rewards
Walgreens was similarly the first retailer to integrate Android Pay into its loyalty program, underscoring the need for other marketers to roll out mobile payment solutions compatible with all operating systems or risk alienating a large base of non-iOS customers (see more).

Online movie ticket retailer Fandango also expanded capabilities for its partnership division Fandango Rewards by introducing receipt scanning and data capture technology, adding value for merchants and consumers (see more).

“The rider experience can now be extended beyond the car and into the local community, where merchants can access $2 billion in local spending while rewarding cardholders for everyday purchases,” Mr. Angelos said. “That’s a relationship that makes sense for riders, Uber and local businesses.”