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April, 2011

Visa has entered the geolocation mobile marketing market and positioned itself as a direct competitor to Foursquare, Groupon, and even eBay.  Visa has launched a new mobile marketing service that allows retail stores to send text messages to consumers that are triggered by purchase habits logged on their Visa cards.  Consumers must opt in to the program online and provide their phone number and credit card information.  Anytime a consumer swipes their Visa card to make a purchase, that data is logged and scanned to see if they are eligible to receive any offers or messages from nearby retailers.  Consumers are eligible for offers if they meet pre-specified criteria such as shopping in a certain zip code, shopping during a certain time of day, or purchasing certain items (i.e. gas, groceries, clothes).  Retailers pay to be a part of this service and can outline the criteria the consumer must meet in order to receive their offers.  The offers are texted to the consumer’s phone and can be presented at the cash register to redeem. The service is free for Visa card holders. This move by Visa to enter the mobile marketing market comes after major new market entrances by giants such as Foursquare, Groupon, and eBay.  Foursquare recently partnered with AmericanExpress during South By Southwest to offer exclusive deals for AmEx holders unlocked by Foursquare checkins.  Groupon and eBay both recently purchased smaller companies specializing in mobile deals unlocked by location based software.  For more information see Ad Age.

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