Foodler, a food ordering service, is one of the first to build on top of the "connected apps" technology recently added to the LevelUp mobile wallet.

"For LevelUp it's great because it creates more opportunities for people to take advantage of the LevelUp platform," says Matt Kiernan, marketing manager at SCVNGR's LevelUp. "Even if a merchant doesn't accept LevelUp [in its store], consumers will still be able to pay with LevelUp through Foodler."

When ordering through Foodler, users select "Pay with LevelUp" and then link their LevelUp account. Consumers accrue the same kind of rewards they get when using LevelUp to pay at the counter. Foodler is applying a $5 discount to new customers who use LevelUp on their first order.

Kiernan says other developers are currently building on the LevelUp platform as well.

LevelUp unveiled its connected app technology in October, enabling merchants to accept LevelUp payments in more environments than just the point of sale. The addition of connected apps is one of many changes LevelUp has made to its business model in the past year.

"There are two different approaches that companies like ours in the mobile payment space take; either a closed approach where they try to own the entire vertical … [or] try and be as open as possible and partner with people," Kiernan says. LevelUp has taken the latter approach, which is "what's been driving a lot of these enhancements," he says.

LevelUp is also white-labeling mobile payment apps for merchants and banks.

"The goal and vision was always to be a payments platform that enables payment in a variety of ways, says Kiernan. "We had to start somewhere…so we started with the very simple consumer to merchant and expanded from there."

LevelUp also deployed new QR code scanners that read the codes displayed by its mobile wallet app. These devices address many of the problems of LevelUp's original approach, which used a 3G smartphone as a QR code reader.

The company reintroduced its 2% transaction fee after merchants bristled at its Interchange Zero model, which charged no fee for payments but instead charged a 40% fee for offer redemption. And most recently, LevelUp scrapped Facebook Connect as a sign-in option in an effort to shore up security.

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