Bling Nation has launched FanConnect, a new platform that enables merchants to offer mobile rewards and connect with customers via social networking services at the checkout.
By tapping their BlingTag, a contactless sticker attached to the back of their mobile phone, consumers will be able to 'like' a business, post rewards to their Facebook page and redeem discounts and promotions targeted toward them.
The FanConnect platform provides businesses with CRM capabilities and detailed analytics data, enabling them to deliver targeted promotions and marketing efforts to particular groups of customers. "While businesses gain important insights, consumer privacy is protected because no personal information is stored on the tag," says Bling Nation.
"FanConnect allows brick-and-mortar businesses to take advantage of the growing number of consumers using social networks to shop by engaging their best customers and turning them into fans at checkout," says Meyer Malka, co-CEO of Bling Nation.
The new FanConnect service is making its debut at the PayPal X Innovate 2010 Developer Conference in San Francisco today. Initially, it enables merchants to connect with consumers on Facebook and mobile check-in service Foursquare. Support for other social media applications is to be introduced in the future.
FanConnect will be launched in the Bay Area, including Palo Alto, San Francisco and San Jose, in November and will expand to other areas nationwide in early 2011.
Bling Nation has been running a trial in Palo Alto since July, in conjunction with PayPal. Last month, Facebook began distributing BlingTag stickers to its staff so that they could also take part in the trial.
Bling Nation's technology is specifically designed to reduce costs by cutting out middlemen, such as acquirers, processors and brands such as Visa and MasterCard. The technology is also near field communication ready, meaning that it will work with NFC phones once they have become widely available. The company has also signed up a number of local banks in the US who have reported considerable take up of the service amongst both consumers and merchants.