A Thing
The Green SheetGreen Sheet

News from the Wire

SparkBase, Naratte to provide mobile, in-store loyalty, gift card transactions

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 — 12:39:53 (EDT)

Cleveland, April 19, 2011 -- SparkBase, a leading processor of white-label loyalty and stored value programs, announced a partnership today with Naratte, a technology leader in device-to-device communication. The resulting technology, developed by SparkBase and Naratte, will allow smart phones that consumers are buying and using today to create a secure wireless connection with terminals that merchants across the US have been using for years.

“We believe the product of the partnership will be a mobile experience that absolutely delights both merchants and their customers. It’s a win-win for all parties,” said Doug Hardman, CEO of SparkBase. “By linking Naratte’s Zoosh software with the terminal integration and processing capabilities of SparkBase, consumers will be able to conduct mobile-generated loyalty and gift card transactions on SparkBase-integrated terminals with just one click,” added Byron Alsberg, CDO of Naratte.

Current efforts by other providers in the market to securely connect smart phones with terminals rely on technologies such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags or near field communication (NFC) chips. Of the active credit card terminals in the US, less than 1% contain RFID chip readers, which has impeded widespread adoption. “A presumptuous expectation has been that merchants and consumers in our communities would bear the brunt of new technology costs,” stated Hardman. “This partnership levels the playing field by giving merchants an inexpensive and secure alternative to NFC and allows adoption right now.”

More than 50 million iPhone and Android smart phones in use today will be able to take advantage of this capability. Any terminals or POS system that currently integrates with the SparkBase processing network will be able to accept Zoosh-enabled transmissions by simply plugging in a low cost sensor. The sensor will retail for under $50.

“Integration between a mobile phone, the SparkBase processing platform and the terminal plays a significant role in our product roadmap this year,” said Hardman. “As evidenced by the growth of location-based mobile apps, we see rising demand from both merchants and consumers for a robust loyalty platform that integrates both at the point of sale and the mobile device. Quite simply, we don’t have to wait for 2012 or beyond for mobile to terminal transactions. The technology is here, in people’s phones and on merchant’s terminals right now. We only have to activate it.”

To learn more about the partnership, go to www.sparkbase.com/naratte or email press@sparkbase.com

About SparkBase

SparkBase enables financial services organizations, ISOs, acquirers and other merchant services providers to create and sell a variety of stored-value offerings including gift cards, loyalty, and rewards programs without heavy investment in product development or IT. SparkBase entered the stored-value industry in early 2004 as the first truly independent white-label loyalty and stored value processing network. SparkBase continues to lead in innovation with its proprietary gateway, using patent pending technologies for processing stored value transactions. For more information, visit sparkbase.com .

About Naratte

Naratte is a Silicon Valley based wireless technology company dedicated to improving people’s lives through wireless innovation. Naratte’s Zoosh Technology enables millions of devices to connect and solves the demand for near field technology now. For more information, visit www.naratte.com .

The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information: bankcardlife.com?orid=33533&opid=1 .

Source: Company press release. end of article

A Thing