CardSpring Tries to Make Cards Smarter

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

Technology startup CardSpring is showcasing its couponing technology at the South By Southwest technology conference in Austin. One application being offered is the following:

RetailMeNot.com, a coupon Web site, is offering $2 discounts on gyros, tacos and other items ordered at food trucks around the festival. But instead of requiring people to print out coupons, the site will let them link the discounts invisibly to their credit card accounts. When they use their credit cards to pay for their food, the coupons will automatically be redeemed, reducing the amount they are charged.

CardSpring is making the assumption that physical cards will be in use for some time, and that there are an array of enhancements that can be made to increase their utility with little effort on the part of consumers. For example prepaid card balances could be accessed through a credit card, as well as loyalty points programs and digital receipts.

“The change in behavior required from consumers for adopting applications that can be built on CardSpring is pretty minimal,” said James Slavet, a venture capitalist with Greylock Partners, which invested in CardSpring.

Mr. Walther (CEO of CardSpring) said CardSpring gives offline merchants a more precise way of tracking how effective their coupons are at drawing business to their stores since everything can be tracked electronically. The start-up recently cut a deal to make its service available through First Data, one of the biggest payment processors.

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