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Credit-Card Companies Sign Up With Mobile-Payments Venture – WSJ.com

NEW YORK Dow Jones–J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM, Capital One Financial Corp. COF and Barclays PLC BARC.LN will enable their customers to use a mobile-payments service being developed by several wireless carriers starting this summer.The service, called Isis, will allow consumers to pay for goods at stores by tapping their mobile phones against a merchants payment terminal rather than swiping a plastic card. Their phones must be equipped with a technology called near-field communication, or NFC, and a merchant must also have special readers to handle the technology.”Mobile commerce is more than a new way to pay,” said Michael Abbott, chief executive of Isis, said in a statement. “Its about extending the relationships consumers enjoy with their banks and merchants into a powerful and convenient new form factor.”Isis is a joint venture of AT&T Inc. T, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, which announced plans for the service in fall 2010. The technology is one of several services aimed at converting consumers smartphones into payment devices, an effort that analysts say could help banks and merchants find new ways to push promotions to customers but has been slow to catch on because of questions about costs and security.Google Inc. GOOG launched its own service last fall that allows customers to load certain MasterCard Inc. MA credit cards issued by Citigroup Inc. C into the software. Customers can also set up a Google-branded prepaid account. The program, called Google Wallet, works on some smartphones running Googles Android operating system.Visa Inc. V, the largest credit-card processor, is also preparing to roll out its own “digital wallet” that will let customers pay for goods online using a user name and password instead of typing in their credit-card numbers for each purchase. The service, called V.me, could also be used in the future to make in-store payments, Visa has said.Isis said Monday that the three banks, among the largest issuers of plastic cards in the U.S., would be making the service available to some of their customers starting in the summer when it kicks off trials in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Austin, Texas. A national rollout is expected to follow that trial.The software used to power Isis will be compatible with cards bearing the logos of Visa, MasterCard, American Express Co. AXP and Discover Financial Services DFS, though the banks will have the ability to choose which of their card products it works with, said Jim Stapleton, chief sales officer for Isis. For consumers, the aim for Isis is for customers to be able to use the existing cards they carry with them today with the service.”It is meant to emulate your leather wallet … where you are the editor-in-chief of what goes into the leather wallet,” Stapleton said in an interview.In addition to making payments, Isis also would enable customers to load their loyalty-program accounts and merchant offers into the software, Stapleton said.A major hurdle that has held back such services is the lack of available of handsets that contain the NFC technology needed to transmit payment information to a merchant terminal. Several handset manufacturers, including HTC Corp. HTCXF, Samsung and Research In Motion Ltd. RIM.T, have said they are incorporating the technology into their phones, Stapleton said. In addition, Isis is also working with DeviceFidelity Inc., a technology company that will offer microSD cards equipped with NFC that can be added to some existing phones.J.P. Morgan Chase plans to make it available first for its credit-card customers, said Richard Quigley, president of Chase Card Services at the New York-based bank.

via Credit-Card Companies Sign Up With Mobile-Payments Venture – WSJ.com.

via Credit-Card Companies Sign Up With Mobile-Payments Venture – WSJ.com.

Plink Launches Facebook Credits-Based Online-to-Offline Loyalty Program – Yahoo! Finance

DENVER, CO–(Marketwire -01/26/12)- Consumer appetite for Facebook Credits is rapidly growing. To satisfy that appetite, Plink (www.plink.com) today launched a Facebook Credits-based loyalty program that rewards Facebook members for dining and making purchases at their favorite restaurants and offline retailers.

Members join at Plink.com through Facebook Connect, then safely and securely register the credit or debit card of their choice, and begin earning Facebook Credits by dining-out or making purchases at participating national restaurants and offline retailers. Today, Plink’s online-to-offline (O2O™) loyalty program includes Dunkin’ Donuts®, Quiznos®, Red Robin® and Taco Bell® among others. Plink members can now earn Facebook Credits at more than 25,000 locations nationwide.

“Facebook Credits is the missing ingredient that’s been needed to connect social media to offline sales,” said Peter Vogel, co-founder of Plink. “Now with the ‘glue’ of Facebook Credits our national restaurant and offline retailer partners have a way to tap into the nearly 800 million users on Facebook, motivate them to become loyal customers, and reward them.”

Consumers use Facebook Credits to buy virtual goods to advance or level-up in popular Facebook games such as CityVille or The Sims Social. In addition, Facebook is constantly adding new ways to spend Facebook Credits including downloading music, watching movies or TV episodes.

“Marketing on Facebook is a tremendous opportunity with a highly desirable demographic,” said Tim Kraus, digital marketing manager at Quiznos. “Plink is helping us crack the code and reach our customers in an innovative and cost-effective way.”

National restaurant chains are the initial focus of Plink as they represent nearly one-third of the total restaurants in the U.S. and spend significant dollars on marketing and advertising. Restaurants, though, do face a number of issues, including stiff competition, difficulty in measuring the results of mass-media campaigns and a desire to avoid couponing or discounts that can devalue a restaurant’s brand. Plink solves these challenges.

via Plink Launches Facebook Credits-Based Online-to-Offline Loyalty Program – Yahoo! Finance.

via Plink Launches Facebook Credits-Based Online-to-Offline Loyalty Program – Yahoo! Finance.

A MaaSS* Movement *Money as a Software Service

Mission Statement:  To be the world’s foremost provider of privately created money and money substitute systems and the facilitator of exchange within and between those systems … all in the interest of economic revitalization and public good.


1. Democratize and Decentralize the Power to Create Money

2. Leverage the Power of Doing Good

3. Create a MaaSS* Movement of Economic Democracy

* Money as a Software Service

3 carriers to invest $100m in Isis, a joint mobile-pay venture – The Boston Globe

PORTLAND, Ore. – Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc., and T-Mobile USA plan to invest more than $100 million in their joint venture that would let consumers pay for goods with mobile phones, according to people with knowledge of the project.

The investment sets up a showdown between the venture, known as Isis, and rivals like a mobile-payment service from Google Inc. The amount of funding depends on how successful Isis is at attracting banks and merchants, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the financing is private.

The carriers have created the alliance to grab a piece of the market for mobile commerce, which lets consumers buy things by tapping their mobile devices against a reader. The market may reach $670 billion by 2015, Juniper Research says.

“It’s a given that people are going to be transacting more over cellphones,’’ said Chetan Sharma, an independent wireless analyst. “It could open a potential new revenue stream for them.’’

Worldwide, mobile payments will generate $240 billion this year, growing two to three times that amount within five years, according to Juniper Research.

Formed last year, Isis also would let consumers receive and redeem coupons via their mobile devices. The service, which will debut in several cities next year, will make money by charging marketers a fee for sending offers to consumers’ phones.

AT&T and T-Mobile declined to comment. The two companies are poised to merge early next year, assuming AT&T’s $39 billion bid passes regulatory scrutiny. Verizon Wireless did not respond to a request for comment.

Isis also has partnerships with Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc., Discover Financial Services, and American Express Co.

via 3 carriers to invest $100m in Isis, a joint mobile-pay venture – The Boston Globe.

Digital Coupons, March Spending Pulse, A&F Expansion – Retailer Daily

Digital Coupons, Use Increases by 33% Last Year

The number of digital coupons available at major online distribution sites increased by 33.6%, and the number of manufacturers offering them (290) grew by 17% in 2010, according to Supermarket News.

via Digital Coupons, March Spending Pulse, A&F Expansion – Retailer Daily.

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