After this years South By Southwest we quickly predicted that the “social discovery” space would become a thing of the past and that “Loyalty Rewards” would take it’s spot as the startup du jour. Now that loyalty and rewards is filling up faster than you can say Groupon, what’s going to set these startups apart is effect on the merchant and ease of use for the user.
NY startup LcoalBonus has both of those factors in check. LocalBonus is one of the easiest reward programs to set up. You simply add an existing credit card account to your LocalBonus account and you’re ready to earn rewards. In fact you can set up all of your credit cards if you choose.
LocalBonus plans a national rollout. They started out in New York and expanded last month into Seattle, Portland, Sacremento and Denver. LocalBonus founder and CEO Derek Webster told us that there are over 800 merchants in the program already.
More + video after the break
“One of the biggest pain points with loyalty programs, especially for local businesses, is that it’s difficult to save up for an award at one place,” he said in an interview with Betakit. “You might have one or two punches on a stamp card at a bunch of different places, but it doesn’t add up to a reward anywhere. LocalBonus Points are a universal currency – every merchant in our program offers points in the same currency that can be combined for rewards.”
Webster keeps an eye on his competition and is watching the moves that PayPal and Square are making in the space. He feels like LocalBonus has an upside advantage being paired with the users existing credit cards though, it means that merchants don’t need a special POS terminal or service to participate.
Webster is also no stranger to the fact that the loyalty business is getting crowded. Another factor that sets LocalBonus apart from others like Perkville is that the merchants are charged per transaction or engagement and not a flat fee. This way they pay when it benefits them directly.
Check out LocalBonus here at their website
See more of our TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2012 coverage here
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