Foursquare recently expanded on an existing partnership with American Express that was first launched about two years ago. Foursqaure will now accept Visa, Mastercard and debit cards in its check-in deals program. This program allows Foursquare users to redeem special discounts and deals by checking in at local businesses after linking their credit card with their Foursquare account.
It's a clever idea because, not only does it eliminate having to deal with paper coupons, it does away with the need to show the coupon or deal digitally as well. Instead, users only need to check in at a merchant offering a special promotion and load that special on their card. After paying with their card, they will receive a credit three to five days later.
Furthermore, according to Foursquare product manager Noah Weiss, not only does this offer users a better experience, it also helps merchants and Foursquare earn more money.
The theory is that people will be more likely to cash in on these promotions if the process is as streamlined as possible. Well, apparently the theory proved accurate if more partners are jumping on board.
Like any modern Web-based business, Foursquare does need to think of ways to increase its revenue flow in order to grow and this is certainly a step in the right direction — especially considering adding Visa, Mastercard and debit card support pretty much opens up the check-in deals program to everyone in the U.S. This program isn't Foursquare's only revenue stream, however.
In July of 2012, the company introduced "Promoted Updates," described as "Google AdWords for the real world." In other words, Promoted Updates offers merchants a chance to have their business promoted via special deals.
In November, Foursquare added location ratings to its iOS app, which uses a unique rating system to generate a rating based on tips, dislikes and popularity from the entire Foursquare user base.
Edited by Brooke Neuman