Ease of transaction, rewards and “exclusives” will be key to the next generation of deals, and the credit card companies are determined to play a major role. MasterCard is working with NextJump for a special rewards programs, and has a number of other initiatives in the space (which key execs will discuss at our Deals 3D conference next month). CitiGroup branded MasterCard, similarly, is partnering with Google to offer deals over mobile phones. Groupon is also said to be working on a credit card arrangement.
Now, American Express is revving up “Serve,” its erstwhile PayPal killer. Serve is an online and mobile commerce platform that enables consumers to preload cash on the card and eliminates the need to print out coupons, among other things. A key part of the platform will be local deals, which will be promoted on AOL’s Patch.com, which expects to have more than 1,000 hyperlocal sites by the end of the year. Customers will need a special credit card to participate.
The arrangement kicks in this fall, launching in Eugene, Oregon. Full personalization based on individual customer data will be fully developed in six to 12 months, according to AmEx (via Chicago Business).
It isn’t clear whether Patch will also be sourcing deals. Patch had previously announced a new initiative it calls “Patch eSaver,” which will show all the deals available in town every Tuesday.