First Data nabs smart loyalty program Perka to connect with SMBs

First Data touted Perka as the "easy-to-use alternative to the old-fashioned paper punch card."
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

First Data is one of those global financial corporations that the casual consumer might not be familiar with by name -- but First Data certainly knows them -- or at least their financial information.

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    That's because the Atlanta-based operation is a global payment processing company, supporting the electronic commerce networks of everyone from MasterCard to Bank of America. The name "First Data" can usually be found somewhere around cash registers, typically on the devices where customers swipe their credit cards. 

    The corporate name could become even more familiar to mobile shoppers, in particular, with the newly-announced acquisition of smart loyalty program Perka.

    Starting at $35 per month for businesses, Perka's cloud-based and location-aware mobile rewards program is designed to offer consumers a more personalized experience through special offers, customer service, rewards for friends brought into stores, and more.

    First Data touted it as the "easy-to-use alternative to the old-fashioned paper punch card."

    With offices in New York City and Portland, Ore., Perka already operates loyalty programs in all 50 U.S. states as well as within the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Africa, Latin America.

    Perka does have an enterprise offering, and certainly First Data has some small business strategies already in place.

    But together, First Data is planning to use Perka's resources to extend its own small business product portfolio.

    The deal actually already went through as of October 4. Perka will continue to operate autonomously, led by its current management and product development team. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

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