Bling Nation Launches FanConnect Platform Giving Businesses and Their Customers Rich Social Media Connectivity at Checkout

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Complementing its successful tap-and-pay mobile payment platform, Bling Nation® launches FanConnect, which enables businesses to connect with consumers at checkout in a simple way via popular social networks like Facebook®. With FanConnect, Bling Nation will help businesses grow their customer base, save money and tap into a powerful automatic viral marketing system with a built-in loyalty program.

Making its debut at the PayPal X Innovate 2010 Developer Conference, Bling Nation’s new FanConnect allows businesses to leverage social media to enrich their customer relationships by connecting with them via Facebook and Foursquare. Other social media applications will be added in the future.  In early November, the service will launch in the Bay Area including Palo Alto, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif. and will expand to other areas nationwide in early 2011.

“We can’t wait for this new service to be available, as it will help us reach new customers by word-of-mouth through social media,” said Lalita Souksamlane, owner of Osha, the famous Thai restaurant and lounge in San Francisco. “FanConnect helps businesses like mine easily create a powerful loyalty program that enhances our interactions with our customers through social media.”

Social media is gaining popularity as a shopping tool for consumers, and retailers are taking notice. According to a recent survey by Aberdeen Group, the number one reason that businesses are incorporating more social media in their business is because more consumers are using it as their primary shopping vehicle. FanConnect provides businesses with rich CRM capabilities, robust analytics while safeguarding customer privacy so they can deliver better, more effective promotions and marketing efforts. While businesses gain important insights, consumer privacy is protected because no personal information is stored on the tag.

With FanConnect, businesses can engage with customers, acquire fans and recognize them with rewards at checkout. By tapping Bling Nation’s proprietary BlingTag® microchip, which can be attached to the back of mobile phones, at checkout, consumers can opt-in to “like” a business, post select rewards to their Facebook page, and redeem discounts and promotions targeted toward them.

“FanConnect allows brick-and-mortar businesses to take advantage of the growing number of consumers using social networks to shop by engaging their best customers and turning them into fans at checkout,” said Meyer Malka, co-CEO for Bling Nation. This enhancement complements our existing service, which already offers businesses the ability to easily create loyalty programs, realize payment processing cost-savings and security benefits.”

FanConnect will be available in early November and includes a “BlingBox” starter kit.  The BlingBox includes all the tools a business needs to implement this program including BlingTags and marketing materials. For existing business partners, the social media component is available as an upgrade to their current mobile payment capability.


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