Underbanked consumers will have an incentive to initiate mobile payments through PaySwag, an application that will issue rewards for using a smartphone to make a payment and allowing redemption at any time.

Sionic Mobile and Customer Engagement Technologies are partnering to deliver the PaySwag program in conjunction with merchants using Sionic's Mobile Rewards Marketplace software to accept mobile payments.

Reno, Nev.-based CET developed the PaySwag app to improve payment experiences for underbanked by allowing users to load cash into a mobile wallet. PaySwag is integrated with Sionic Mobile's commerce engine to issue rewards and interact with Marketplace merchants.

"The underbanked are also under-rewarded and until now there really haven't been any mobile loyalty or incentive programs," Max Haynes, CEO of Customer Engagement Technologies, stated in a March 15 press release.

Atlanta-based Sionic says more than 100,000 retail locations nationwide use the Mobile Rewards Marketplace, and its commerce engine allows credit and debit card processing through JPMorgan Chase. The Marketplace works alongside existing, standalone rewards programs.

Wallet providers and retailers alike are seeking ways to provide more rewards and incentives for consumers to make mobile payments, as recent research indicates the concept resonates with smartphone owners who receive such incentives.

PaySwag is integrated with more than 17,000 retail locations accepting cash payments for debts such as auto payments, medical bills and government fines. By combining mobile access and alternative payment technology, the CET platform gives consumers the tools to make on-time payments and rewards them for doing so, Haynes said.

"By providing instant rewards to app users, the Marketplace helps drive adoption and usage of apps like PaySwag, better engages current customers and helps attract new users," Ron Herman, CEO of Sionic Mobile, said in the release. "We are pleased to work with the Customer Engagement Technologies team to fill a void in the market by offering a feature-rich rewards program to a large and typically underserved market."

Sionic has also pushed its mobile model as a way for merchants potentially slow to adopt EMV to add security through a three-digit code for mobile payments.

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