LevelUp Seeks Scale with Heartland Partnership (March 21, 2013)
March 21, 2013
For mobile wallet providers, reaching scale with consumers and merchants has proved to be the 800-pound gorilla. However, Heartland Payment Systems, the Princeton, N.J.-based merchant processor, and LevelUp, a promotion-based mobile payment and loyalty network from Boston-based SCVNGR, believe their partnership will solve the problem.
Following pilot programs in New York City, Boston, Louisville, Ky., Minneapolis and Madison, Wis., the companies today announced a national rollout of a joint mobile payment solution. The companies hope to leverage Heartland’s 800 sales representatives and a customer base of more than 250,000 merchant locations along with LevelUp’s mobile payment and loyalty platform, which charges merchants zero interchange and makes its revenues when consumers cash in on merchant-funded deals.
“This was both an operational and a market pilot where we wanted to validate our sales rollout strategy, sales results, consumer adoption and the ability for Heartland and LevelUp to drive additional consumers and revenue to our merchants,” Ian Drysdale, Heartland president, network solutions group, tells Paybefore. “While we cannot share specifics, we found that the pilot . . . proved out all of these objectives. In particular, Heartland wants to provide value-added services to merchants that enable them to grow their businesses and we found that the LevelUp solution enabled merchants to increase their overall sales.”
Also part of the arrangement, LevelUp will use Heartland’s authorization and settlement network, and both companies will promote white-labeled apps for businesses with multiple locations. The white-label solution enables businesses to offer a branded mobile payment and loyalty program with all LevelUp features on the back end, including zero payment processing fees, analytics and technical support.
“This agreement is a major plus and will go a long way in keeping LevelUp at the forefront of mobile payments players,” Todd Ablowitz, president of Double Diamond Consulting Group, tells Paybefore. “The company continues to make impressive moves that are giving it huge inroads. That said, it’s a very big shift to move people to use mobile for payments, so it’s still going to take some time and I expect it to be a very long path. Ultimately, there are no silver bullets.”