First Data intros cloud-based loyalty app for SMBs

Summary:With the Perka app, SMB merchants can create a customized loyalty program to increase customer personalization and engagement efforts.

The payment processor First Data is bringing a cloud-based customer loyalty application to its Clover tablet POS.

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.16.20 AM
Image: First Data

With the Perka app, SMB merchants can create a customized loyalty program to increase customer personalization and engagement efforts. 

The premise of the app is pretty simple, if not a bit restrictive. A customer installs the Perka app on their smartphone and the app gives them a list of participating merchants and a list of offers. The program consists of a punchcard service that can be used to give perks after a certain number of purchases and a flexpoints option that rewards customers based on the amount they spend.

But the app relies on the consumer to activate the app upon entering a store in order for the merchant to receive a signal of their presence and greet them by name – a simple task that is often a hindrance in an app’s effectiveness, especially in a retail/customer loyalty scenario.

Still, First Data is backing the app's engagement power, saying the personal connection it brings between a merchant and a shopper is a key factor in building loyalty and repeat visits.

The Perka app is the result of First Data's acquisition of Perka last year. It integrates with First Data's Clover station, a tablet POS developed by a company called Clover that also was bought quietly by First Data in 2013 .

Guy Chiarello, president of First Data, said in a statement:

Loyalty programs are an effective method to increase sales and build a stronger base of regular customers. With Perka, we are adding valuable functionality to First Data's SMB offerings, taking advantage of our unique position and scale to deliver a powerful solution to small and medium-sized businesses.


Topics: SMBs, Developer


Natalie Gagliordi is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in Louisville, Kentucky, covering business technology for ZDNet. She previously worked as the editor of Kiosk Marketplace, an online B2B trade publication that focused on interactive self-service technology, while also contributing to additional websites that covered retail tec... Full Bio

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