Within a couple of months, MasterCard Worldwide expects its cardholders to have easy access to daily coupons from merchants.

Meantime, MasterCard will work closely with Chicago-based Local Offer Network to set up MasterCard issuers and merchants with the technology to provide customers the money-saving discounts, the card brand announced April 17.

Local Offer Network represents the first of several partnerships MasterCard intends to forge with similar companies capable of providing daily couponing or deals, MasterCard spokesperson Seth Eisen told PaymentsSource via an email.

MasterCard serves as the connection between the companies specializing in providing daily deals and the financial institutions that issue MasterCards to consumers, Eisen says.

“We view our offering as providing issuers another option in accessing the broader world of offers for their cardholders,” Eisen says. At the same time, MasterCard allows the issuers the flexibility to determine how to activate the various offers, he adds.

The agreement with Local Offer Network allows MasterCard to offer a program similar in some ways to one Visa Inc. initiated last year.

Visa sparked industry interest in the card brand’s involvement in daily-discount offers when it announced a partnership with clothing store Gap Inc. last April to provide discount offers via text message to cardholders (see story).

Visa touted its global processing network as the key element in analyzing transactions so merchants could deliver special deals to cardholders who make qualifying purchases on their Visa accounts.

In addition, late last year, Visa offered cardholders an option to earn and redeem Shopkick “kicks,” or points, at Shopkick merchant sites (see story).

Meanwhile, American Express Co. made some noise of its own in December in landing a deal with Chicago-based daily-coupon provider Groupon Inc. in which cardholders could redeem rewards points to obtain Groupon gift certificates.

MasterCard already has obtained feedback from issuers about how they include offers and rewards to cardholders so the company can reinforce the connection between issuer, merchant and the consumer through mobile, social media or traditional advertising channels, Eisen notes.

Consumers can expect to receive alerts through various technology channels on various products, from discounts on meals to discounts on visits to tourist attractions or cruises, he adds.

MasterCard plans to expand its partnerships and offerings to include other types of offers beyond just a “daily deal,” Eisen adds.

Local Offer Network views the partnership as a way to expand its service.

“From day one, we’ve focused on providing consumers with great deals across the broadest range of products and services,” Dan Hess, CEO and co-founder of Local Offer Network, stated in a press release. “Our partnership with MasterCard reinforces the continued value of the deals segment to shoppers, merchants and the financial institutions that serve them.”

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