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Visa, MasterCard Partner with Foursquare to Offer Deals

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Foursquare is adding Visa and MasterCard to its special deals roster, enabling the social media company’s 30 million users to link their credit and debit cards to Foursquare to receive discounts at merchants, according to a report in Ad Age.

The program enables consumers to claim discounts by checking into a participating location with their Foursquare app, Ad Age says. Burger King will be the initial pilot participant for the Visa and MasterCard partnerships, with a total of about 7,000 locations, the article says.

Foursquare allows consumers to compete with friends to earn points by using an app to "check in" when visiting businesses and other locations.

The partnerships with Visa and MasterCard follow an earlier similar arrangement with American Express. In that program, consumers received statement credits when checking into and making purchases at participating merchants. Participants in the American Express program have included Whole Foods, Nike, Sports Authority and Dunkin Donuts. American Express has also worked with other social media companies, including Twitter.  

Foursquare is looking to tap new revenue streams as the four-year-old firm faces a challenging period—The Wall Street Journal has reported growth of the company’s advertising model has slowed, and it’s looking for raise about $50 million as overall investor enthusiasm wanes for publically-traded social media companies. 

Foursquare told Ad Age the terms of its American Express program—which was initially a marketing partnership—have changed, and Foursquare will earn fees from offers redeemed on the platform from all three credit card companies. Foursquare did not disclose the structure of those fees. Foursquare did not immediately return a request for comment on Tuesday morning.

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