First Data launches Perka beacon to accompany loyalty app for SMBs

The payment processor is extending its customer loyalty suite to include beacons, and says it's already shipped thousands of the beacons to businesses currently using the Perka app.

The payment processor First Data is extending SMB-focused customer loyalty suite to include beacons.

The Perka beacon will accompany First Data's Perka loyalty app, which it rolled out this past July . First Data says it has already shipped thousands of the beacons to businesses currently using the Perka app. 

Beacons have become an increasingly popular detection technology with retailers and other merchants looking to create a direct connection with customers. Like the majority of other beacons, First Data's iteration runs on Bluetooth Low Energy communication technology to automatically check customers into stores once they are within range of the device. Before these beacons, the Perka mobile loyalty app relied on the customer to activate it upon entering a store.

What sets the Perka beacon apart from its counterparts is its rolling-code technology, which provides encrypted check-in each time a customer enters the store – a feature that First Data says makes it harder for any malicious hacking to occur.

Given First Data's history in the payment processing space, which is obviously hinges heavily on subscribing to security standards, it makes sense for the company to attempt to differentiate its own beacon on such a level, especially considering the beacon boom that is expected to occur. According to Business Insider's BI Intelligence report, 72 percent of retailers will have adopted beacon technology within five years.