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New payment technologies take off as RetailMeNot plans to introduce credit card coupon system

Thursday, 5 April 2012 | By Patrick Stafford

Retail coupon giant RetailMeNot is set to introduce a new coupon system where users can automatically get discounts at retailers by punching in their credit card numbers through the company’s website, in yet another innovation in the mobile payments scene.


The move comes after both Square and PayPal have made recent inroads in mobile and retail payments. Google also recently introduced a system where retailers deduct coupon discounts from a users’ total if they use the Google Wallet application.


TechCrunch has reported RetailMeNot – founded by Australians Guy King and Bevan Clark – will be extending a trial it ran at the South by Southwest (SXSW) tech conference, where users could use credit card-linked coupons at several retailers.


Users enter their credit card numbers in the site, select discounts to load onto their cards, and then have that amount automatically deducted from the purchase price once they pay.


Through a partnership with another company, RetailMeNot is able to check your credit card history where you’ve loaded discounts.


According to the publication, during SXSW over 6000 people visited a promotion site and 500 people signed up, and 50% of those registered redeemed the discount with their credit cards.


Telsyte senior research manager Sam Yip says this type of innovation can be successful because it pushes the transaction and the user closer together, as opposed to traditional paper coupons that take time to cut out and use.


“We have a business here that realises customers are looking for deals on these sorts of sites. Sites like RetailMeNot don’t have a transaction element, but by using credit cards you have ways to access them at the point they’re looking for a deal.”


Tech companies have been pushing for ways to connect discounts to the actual transaction. Various businesses have offered discounts to users who "check in" to locations through Facebook, and Google has used a way to ensure Google Deals discounts are implemented when a user makes a transaction using the Google wallet app.


Yip says the more businesses that connect their offer to the transaction will be good for business.


“Secondly, it’s about paper. This is a race to eliminate paper and make it easy for customers to utilise a deal.”


“RetailMeNot has a strong mobile presence too. This is a good move.”