CardStar is an interesting iPhone application that allows users to consolidate all their various reward cards, club cards and such into one application. The premise is that you’d walk into a store, open up the CardStar application, and the clerk can literally scan your phone to find your rewards account. Taking this to a new level, the latest release of CardStar now integrates with Foursquare, allowing users to check in while they use their loyalty card at a given store. What CardStar doesn’t talk about, is how merchants can take advantage of their clients checking in at their store. I examine the potential below.
It looks like CardStar’s latest move is about giving users the most convenience possible, so they can check in to a store as they use their loyalty cards. This could eventually lead to CardStar working with the same company that Foursquare is working with, and a user who frequents a certain store may get a CardStar points bonus as well as a foursquare bonus.
“It’s always been a marketer’s dream to influence a consumer before, during and after the shopping experience. The CardStar platform will provide marketers the opportunity to present customers with the right offer at the right time on the right device.” – Andy Miller, CardStar CEO
The loyalty cards business seems to be buzzing. We just did an interview with the former CEO of Friendster who is now starting PlacePop, a company that is in the same business as CardStar but in a slightly different way. PlacePop relies on location based services and gives users rewards based on the check-in itself, rather than the card. The models are slightly different, and the battle for user’s hearts will likely come down to who makes the first big impact, the technical prowess of the applications and the number of vendors on board. We’ll keep you posted.