Placecast Brings Mobile and Local Knowledge to Card-Linked Offers Space

Location-based marketing player Placecast has taken the wraps off a new card-linked offers program geared to credit card companies and retailers. With the program, called Card-Linked ShopAlerts, Placecast will compete with FreeMonee Network, Linkable Networks, and Cartera Commerce among other vendors.

But it claims to have a leg up when it comes to analytics, since it can closely track offer redemptions by observing the foot traffic of the 10 million users who have opted in to receive its geofenced ShopAlerts.

In fact the company has come to the space with a patent in hand, which it says covers “the ability to correctly match store locations with transaction data between processors, issuers, retailers and now mobile app and wallet providers.”  Thus retailers get more accurate reporting on offers delivered and redemptions for each of their stores, Placecast says.

More credit card companies are using so-called “card-linked” offers to encourage card use while leveraging consumer purchase history for retail marketing purposes. The space is forecast to capture  $1.7 billion in annual revenue by 2015, according to Aite Group research recently cited by the Wall Street Journal.

The latest twist on the practice uses social and mobile channels to alert enrolled users to deals. The best-known examples of this are from American Express, which did an integration with Foursquare last year to alert checked-in users of deals at nearby establishments. And AmEx’s “Link, Like, Love” program let Facebook users enroll to receive deal offers based on companies they have liked on the site.

But other banks such as U.S. Bancorp and Bank of America are exploring it too, working with vendors such as FreeMonee and Linkable Networks.

In the case of Placecast, users opt in to receive deal alerts through a relationship with their wireless carrier, credit card issuer or retailer. These alerts work much the way a Groupon or LivingSocial offer might, with the added benefits of (1) no need for a redemption code, and (2) the availability of customer transaction histories held by the credit card issuer to match users to retail offers.

In an example shared by Placecast, the offer might say, “Get a $20 statement credit when you use your card and spend $100 or more at Big Box Retail, 1234 Main Street.”

The Card-Linked ShopAlerts program has been available in beta with undisclosed card issuers since last spring. Placecast says more than 550 merchants have participated in card-linked offers so far, and the best performing category has been restaurants.

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