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First Data intros cloud-based loyalty app for SMBs

With the Perka app, SMB merchants can create a customized loyalty program to increase customer personalization and engagement efforts.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor on

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.

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