For Welcome to Moe's Inc., a franchisee of Moe's Southwest Grill, migrating to iMobile3's PassMarket mobile loyalty program improved customer engagement and reduced the fraud that ran rampant with an earlier paper-based loyalty program.

Customers would punch the paper loyalty punch card themselves or make copies and print their own, says Brad Chasteen, president and CEO of Welcome to Moe's Inc. And employees would give out extra cards.

"If you can automate the [loyalty program] and tie one automatically to a particular user and control it at the point of sale you not only mitigate fraud but we're also adding all these other features to communicate with our customers," Chasteen says.

It now uses iMobile3's PassMarket, a cloud-based multi-wallet platform available on both iOS and Android operating systems.

"With PassMarket we desire to offer a solution to merchants that gives them strong intelligence and analytics into their business as well as rich tools to expand their loyalty, offer, gift and payment offerings," says Matt Bishop, vice president of technology at iMobile3, an enterprise mobile application and payment services provider

About 2,000 merchants currently use PassMarket, says Bishop.

Moe's started using iMobile3's technology in September last year. Employees are happy with the system because it efficiently keeps track of customer payment and loyalty without the mess of paper, Chasteen says.

Chasteen says PassMarket was a good option for Moe's because the application includes electronic coupon redemption and cancellation for one time use, electronic check acceptance at the register and location-targeting capabilities. The restaurant can also send coupons and messaging with push notifications to a customer's smartphone.

Before PassMarket, Moe's used PlumReward, a text message-based loyalty program.

"What we're used to and what the industry has come from is paper-based and text message-based where there were always recurring costs, especially text message where every text has a cost…so you were actually penalized for sending a lot of messages to customers," says Chasteen.

Moe's pays a flat monthly fee to use iMobile3's application, says Chasteen, who has rolled out PassMarket to 15 of his 35 stores across the country. The mobile app will be available in all of his stores sometime in the first quarter, he says.

"This is a test that we're doing with iMobile3 for the entire brand," Chasteen says. He also works with the retail technology committee on the franchise advisory board.

PassMarket also plans to support Apple's iBeacon Bluetooth-based location-tracking technology for mobile payments. When consumers visit a retailer using iBeacon, the application would pick up on that and allow the customer to check out just by walking up to the point of sale.

"Enabling mobile payments and leveraging location awareness tools such as Bluetooth beacons are two of the largest items for 2014," Bishop says. "Merchants, especially small to medium-sized businesses, are putting real budgets aside for expanding into the mobile offers space and engaging customers."

Ingenico, a point of sale hardware provider, recently partnered with iMobile3. Ingenico views mobile payments as taking a different path than EMV-chip cards, a separate emerging payments technology that is being adopted at the point of sale to improve security.

"Unlike EMV that has evolved in a cooperative fashion…the mobile wallet is evolving in a competitive fashion," says Greg Burch, director of business development of Ingenico North America.

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