NEW YORK: Foursquare and American Express have partnered for a loyalty program that allows AmEx cardholders to sync their Foursquare profiles to their credit card.
As the mobile payments arena continuously evolves, the partnership is significant for allowing brands to connect with consumers in more targeted and meaningful ways. It also allows merchants to see more measurable value in their promotional efforts.
“You really get some interesting ROI metrics that have really never existed before,” said Tristan Walker, director of business development at Foursquare.
Originally piloted at South by Southwest earlier this year, the program begins its official roll out with specials from Sports Authority, H&M, and Union Square Hospitality Group, with plans for expansion in the coming weeks.
When Foursquare users who have linked their AmEx accounts check in to venues, they are notified about existing deals and can cash in simply by clicking to load the special. At the point of purchase, the consumer receives a push notification that their reward is on its way.
“There is no more need for coupons or for you to show your phone in order to get a deal,” said Dave Wolf, VP of global marketing capabilities at AmEx. “A merchant no longer has to wonder if the deal or special actually drove business because we can link online and digital behavior to offline spend in a way that has never been done before.”
Foursquare decided to partner with AmEx for this program because the two companies align in their focus on loyalty marketing. Walker explained that Foursquare hopes to learn from the credit card company as they continue to work together in the evolving digital era of loyalty marketing.
“There are really very few organizations that understand loyalty marketing better than American Express,” Walker said.
AmEx felt the partnership was strategic because Foursquare's unique location-based platform — when combined with its own relationships with merchants and consumers — could lead to tremendous benefits in terms of analytics and merchant and consumer satisfaction.
“We are now allowing our merchants to essentially provide the right offer to the right user at the right time,” Wolf said.
Additional businesses will be added to the program in the coming weeks by marketing the partnership to merchants and through organic growth. AmEx is also in the process of developing a self-service online tool that will allow merchants to create their own couponless offers.