Corduro has added technology to its PayMobile app to locate and attract nearby customers when a merchant's business is slow.
"If the restaurant is filled to about 50%, with Corduro they can see if [PayMobile app users are] within three miles of the restaurant and give them offers to get them in," says Robert Ziegler, founder and CEO of Corduro.
Corduro, whose backers include Google, now connects merchants directly to consumers via the company's PayMobile app and social community. PayMobile users can set privacy controls to choose which information to share.
PayMobile users can link card or checking accounts and their social media accounts. The app rewards users for interacting with their friends and thus growing their social circle.
"If a transaction happens, I can brag about it and invite others to join," Ziegler says. "You are accelerating the relationships. I invite you, you invite someone, they invite five others. And that social graph is visible to organizations. We're focused on creating business intelligence around that social graph."
The information from Corduro's social tools integrates with a merchant's loyalty system. Businesses can use Corduro's CRM or a separate CRM provider to make use of data such as location and the consumer's personal interests.
Users who invite friends to connect with organizations or share special offers win recognition in the PayMobile community. The larger a person's influence in the community, the bigger the rewards. Users with large Facebook and Twitter networks can get those rewards faster.
"Consumers will be rewarded for redemption and behaviors such as passing along information about offers in their social network," Ziegler says.
For merchants, the network can be a way to quickly scale a base of loyal customers, as well as obtain extra information for marketing, customer service and cross-selling, Ziegler says.
The integration between social networking and CRM attempts to fill what Ziegler says are "holes" in consumer and payment data that is available to merchants at the moment of purchasesuch as frequency of visits or changes in a consumer's address.
Corduro targets businesses, merchants and non-profits with a mix of in-store, online, crowdsourcing and mobile payments. It competes with companies like Square, Braintree, and PayPal. Other Corduro services include office integration, security controls, reporting, collection, campaign management and consumer analytics. The company is also working on a healthcare payments application that it plans to release later this summer, Ziegler says.
Other payment companies that offer mobile payments for merchants use social networks to inform customer service or security. For example, WePay uses Facebook Connect to register and vet merchant clients.
Social networks can also provide data on how payments are executed at specific merchants or by a particular consumer, says Gil Luria, a vice president at Wedbush Securities.
"Your mobile or social ID can be associated with your payment type," Luria says. "And a retailer can engage you on a social network as you pay them."