Placecast Cashes In on Mobile Wallet Craze

Rolls out white-label platform for credit card companies, mobile carriers, retailers

From PayPal to Google to conceivably Apple, many companies are getting in on the mobile wallet trend. Now, Placecast is looking to blow up the emerging market with its ShopAlerts Wallet product that credit card companies, mobile carriers and retailers can use for their own mobile wallet.

Placecast CEO Alistair Goodman said Placecast’s white-label product, in the works for more than 18 months, would let companies compete with PayPal’s and Google’s mobile wallets. He wouldn’t discuss whether any brands have signed on to use ShopAlerts Wallet but said it expected to be able to say more this fall.

ShopAlerts Wallet is essentially a platform that would let a brand like Visa, AT&T or Walmart create their own mobile wallet app, add it to an existing app, or roll out a mobile-browser-based Web app. The ShopAlerts Wallet lets users search for nearby merchants and offers, and using Placecast’s location-based marketing technology, lets them receive push notifications or SMS text messages for offers when they enter a geofenced region near a brick-and-mortar store.

In addition to offering deals for in-store redemption, brands can let users connect their credit cards to the mobile wallets. In so doing, the brand can target offers based on a user’s purchase history and apply discounts to the user’s account, eliminating the need to present or scan a coupon code at the register, much the way American Express’s mobile offers program works. If a company doesn’t let users connect their credit cards to the wallet—as in the case of a retailer that doesn’t offer its own branded credit card—the shopper could present or scan a code.

ShopAlerts Wallet enters a crowded space, however, as PayPal continues to roll out its own mobile wallet and Google continues to seek traction for its own offering. And earlier this month, with PassBook, Apple ignited speculation that it could prepare its own mobile wallet. PassBook, which will be added to the next version of its iOS mobile operating system, will let users load things like loyalty cards, boarding passes and concert tickets to the app.