• Clint Engel

Alliance Data launches mobile app for virtual credit card

Stores can use data to create personalized offers

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Alliance Data Retail Services has introduced a new mobile loyalty platform and next-generation mobile app that enables consumers to apply for a store-branded credit card, shop, pay with the “mobile virtual credit card” and collect or redeem rewards without a physical credit card.

Retailers, meanwhile, will be able to create a more personalized shopping experience for customers and to collect customer data not available through some other payment systems, the company said.

Top 100 company Z Gallerie of Gardena, Calif., will be the first retail furniture client to implement the app, said Alliance Data, which provides private label and co-branded credit card programs.

The mobile app is compatible with almost all smartphones, the company said.

Among the benefits for retailers is the ability to develop customer loyalty through analysis of transaction data and then targeting offers to customers based on their shopping preferences and patterns, Alliance Data said.

It also allows quick, secure credit application and payment using a mobile virtual credit card, which can be scanned or tapped to purchase via a store’s near field communication system.

“Ultimately, when consumers use our app to research, shop, and pay in store with their mobile virtual card, they spend 40% more than if they shopped and checked out with a physical credit card,” Sheryl McKenzie, Alliance Data vice president of product and marketing capabilities, said in a release.

She said the value of the mobile app goes beyond the payment function, giving cardholders “the ability to view their account, including available credit and loyalty rewards.”

“By providing this level of personalized information during the shopping experience, customers are more inclined to complete — or add to — their intended purchase,” she said.

With cardholder permission, retailers can recognize their store-brand cardholders walking into the store with an enabled smartphone so the retailer can transmit personalized messages based on the customer’s shopping preferences.

The prompts “can act almost like a personal shopper, alerting the customer through the app to a new collection nearby or even prompting a purchase with a special offer on an item displayed in that part of the store,” McKenzie said.

Alliance Data said it will roll out new app features and benefits next year, including digital receipt tracking and mobile gifting.

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today
cengel@furnituretoday.com

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