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The Green Sheet Online Edition

September 26, 2016 • Issue 16:09:02

Visa, Uber reward small merchants, riders

A co-branded loyalty program launched Aug. 30, 2016, by Uber Technologies Inc. and Visa Inc. is now available in the latest version of the Uber app. Uber Local Offers began a phased rollout in San Francisco and Los Angeles; additional cities are planned. The in-app program requires no additional access codes or coupons.

Consumers are rewarded for things they already do, earning a point for every dollar they spend at local enrolled merchants. When they reach a balance of 100 points, riders receive a $10 discount off a future Uber ride. The companies stated this enriches the shopping and dining experience for Uber riders, while helping small merchants acquire more customers, drive loyalty and increase sales. Initial responses from riders and merchants have been positive, they added.

The program follows on the heels of a similar loyalty scheme for Uber riders with embedded Quicksilver and QuicksilverOne cards issued by Capital One. Launched in June 2016, the program enables users to track and unlock ride discounts inside the Uber app. A built-in progress bar shows riders how close they are to earning their next free ride. The promotion will run through March 2017.

"We've built Local Offers right into the Uber app, making it a one-stop shop for riders to see our curated list of places and track progress toward free rides," said Drew Quinn, Product Manager at Uber.

Leveraging networks, data

Uber Local Offers is a product of Visa Commerce Network, a loyalty platform designed to link payment card transactions and separate merchant accounts, giving enrolled merchants the ability to jointly participate in a range of frequency and loyalty promotions. Consumers who opt-in to benefits will automatically be recognized at the POS whenever they use their registered Visa cards.

Visa Commerce Network runs on the VisaNet electronic payment network; large and small merchants can incorporate the program through Visa's library of application programming interfaces.

Terry Angelos, Vice President of Loyalty and Offers at Visa, said, "The rider experience can now be extended beyond the car and into the local community, where merchants can access $2 billion in local spending while rewarding cardholders for everyday purchases. That's a relationship that makes sense for riders, Uber and local businesses."

A rewarding ride

Visa noted that its cardholders who use Uber spent more than $144 billion at local businesses from July 2015 through June 2016. The company expects Uber Local Offers to significantly increase annual spend, as local business owners offer ways to earn Uber points at participating stores and restaurants.

The program has attracted an eclectic mix of merchants in Los Angeles and San Francisco, including Barcito, Delarosa, Ike's, Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, Mixt Greens, Peet's Coffee, PizzaRev, Specialty's Café & Bakery, Super Duper, The Pie Hole, Uno Dos Tacos, Veggie Grill, and Wurstküche. end of article

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