Foursquare could be on its way to driving new business to retailers with a new incentive program that pushes targeted discounts to users who link their Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card to the location-based social network’s mobile app. First Data is providing the tools for merchants to push the offers to registered Foursquare users. The discounts only are available from participating First Data retailers.
American Express cardholders have been able to take advantage of card-linked Foursquare offers since 2011. But unlike the American Express arrangement, Foursquare will get paid on a cost-per-transaction basis.
Starting today, Foursquare’s 30 million users will be able to sync their MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards with the apps. Those who do so will receive targeted discounts from participating merchants, with Burger King and its 7,000-plus locations signed on as the pilot partner.
“This is where you’re going to see merchants really realize the power of mobility,” says Steven Rosenblatt, who joined Foursquare last summer as its first chief revenue officer.
Foursquare took steps recently to provide more value to its users. Its mobile app puts less emphasis on the “check-in” and more focus around recommendations from its users and a “what’s nearby” search function. In some ways, Foursquare has become a rival to Yelp.
Foursquare’s new partnership with First Data will help merchants reach consumers where they are at the moment and there’s no better way to do that through the smartphone. Burger King discounts will not be appealing to some, but the American Express partnership should be a good indicator as to future deals with merchant such as The Sports Authority and Whole Foods.
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Editor’s Note: This version corrects an earlier edition that identified Foursquare’s deal being with Visa and MasterCard, not First Data.