Payment processor epay plans to offer proximity-based mobile advertisements to consumers in the U.K., with plans to extend the technology to other regions over the next year.

The London-based company has partnered with Appflare, a company that specializes in beacon technology. The two companies plan to launch a new mobile messaging feature, allowing epay merchants to broadcast promotional offers to customers in their stores using Bluetooth-based beacons.

"Through our close collaboration with Appflare, consumers shopping in a beacon-enabled epay retail outlet can receive relevant and timely offers through their mobile phone which they can redeem at the point of sale," said Jason Thompson, regional managing director at epay, in an Aug. 5 press release.

Beacons use Bluetooth Low Energy wireless signals to transmit messages to shoppers' smartphones. Beacons can be placed throughout a store, providing offers based on which aisle or department a consumer is near. Apple and PayPal and other companies support beacons for mobile payments and marketing.

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