Marqeta Inc. is taking its rewards prepaid card and wrapping it around a program to encourage consumers to spend at restaurants in their hometown.

In September, Oakland, Calif.-based Marqeta launched its consumer rewards prepaid card, which allows merchants to add extra money to the accounts of customers who are willing to go online and “pay up front” for goods and services at their stores.

Now, Marqeta is supporting an “Explore Oakland” initiative in which consumers who prepay for any of four special offers applicable to Oakland restaurants, ranging from $40 to $400, would receive a discount, the company announced Dec. 20.

In following the premise behind the Marqeta card, the program gives shoppers who participate in the offers an extra 25% to spend at the restaurants.

When consumers make the online purchases of those specific offers on the Explore Oakland website, they receive a free Marqeta debit card with the extra funds preloaded, the company said in a press release.

In addition to exposing more consumers to the Marqeta card and its rewards program, the company wants to support the city in which it began as a payments startup.

“Our goal in creating Explore Oakland with these partners is to support and reward Oakland commerce – and what better way to do that than with our great restaurants here?” said Omri Dahan, Marqeta’s chief revenue officer, in the press release.

Marqeta markets itself as an “online-to-offline commerce and payments platform” that provides every merchant a chance to operate under a payment model similar to one that helped drive Starbucks’ loyalty model. The merchants do not need new software or hardware at the point of sale to accept the Marqeta prepaid card.

While Starbucks gives consumers points and product rewards, Marqeta merchants give consumers more money to spend.

Marqeta says its prepaid card allows consumers to no longer have to keep track of multiple deal vouchers, loyalty programs or gift cards because all of the discounts sit on one payment card.

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