Alliance Data Systems Planning Platforms; Facebook Loses Some Login Share

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Platform Alliance!

During Alliance Data Systems’ (ADS) Q4 earnings call (read the release), CEO Ed Heffernan described the company’s end game: Building a series of platforms to capture the purchase data of consumers. While ADS – parent company of Epsilon/Conversant – is currently a series of platforms, Heffernan hopes to consolidate them within five years. ADS is tweaking its various properties (including Epsilon/Conversant, Card Services and LoyaltyOne) to figure out which ones are most relevant. Heffernan is optimistic that ADS has stabilized Epsilon’s challenges: “For the first time, I am comfortable we have a sustainable model long term.”

Social Loggin’

Facebook remains the dominant social login service (when a user employs a name and password from a social media company to log into another site), but it’s market share has slipped since the middle of last year. After peaking at 66%, Facebook is now responsible for 62% of all social logins, with Google (24%) and Yahoo (4%) each gaining share, according to Gigya. Disclaimer: Google’s numbers are souped by the company’s new consolidated user ID, which now connects across Gmail, YouTube, Google+ and more. But these are also web only. On mobile Facebook’s market share is 80% and growing. More at Marketing Land.

App Money

PayPal’s Venmo has embarked on a new effort to infiltrate in-app payments, confronting mobile wallets like Android Pay and Apple Pay. It’s a pilot program for now, but users of Gametime, a sports ticketing app, and Munchery, a food delivery app, will be able to make frictionless Venmo payments. Meanwhile Button is building out a similar network with apps like Uber, OpenTable and TicketMaster. For growth-hungry apps, seamless payments grease the marketing wheels.

Cold Fee(t)

Comcast has been imposing new fees on customers that are heavy consumers of data (via Netflix, YouTube and so on). Bloomberg reporter Gerry Smith points to recent examples, such as Time Warner’s internet restriction plan in 2008 and an FCC telco probe last year, as reminders that mobile networks have flopped on this strategy before. The fees only impact 8% of subscribers, and are about “trialing ways to have a balanced relationship,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Comcast has a lot of leverage over tech titans, but is in the unfortunate position of damaging user experience if it exercises its power. More.

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