Sometimes referred to as coupons, mVouchers store a prepaid value funded by the merchant or consumer product goods company. Mobile vouchers can be delivered as coupons, loyalty rewards, promotional rewards, contest rewards or general marketing initiatives. The virtual offer can then be used for redemption online or in-store through a mobile device as an SMS (short message service) or 2-D barcode, and ultimately through contactless exchange such as Near Field Communication (NFC).
The system is designed to be agnostic as to the redemption process. It uses a 16-digit code (just like a standard card number) that can be entered by a clerk, represented via a 2D barcode, or communicated via an NFC chip.
The consumer requests or receives a mobile voucher either through a banner ad, short code, loyalty program or as a special promotion. The mVoucher system also provides the merchant with an optional registration process to allow their customers to opt-in to receive additional virtual offers through e-mail or SMS. The consumer then visits the merchant location where the cashier enters the 16-digit code or scans the barcode at the point-of-sale (POS) terminal. With the future of mobile commerce in mind, mVouchers are also designed to support NFC-based redemption between a mobile device and the merchant point of sale as this technology is broadly deployed.
In addition, the mVoucher program includes an optional registration feature on a mobile web or App Gift Card Portal for the consumer to manage their saved offer and accept more incentives from the merchant. Included is the ability to reload funds, check balance and transaction information, locate the nearest physical store location and purchase additional mVouchers to send to others.
We expect First Data and its partners to offer white label “apps” or APIs to this service so that the merchant can deliver an app-based experience to better control the customer interaction.