Swipely Shifts Social Shopping Business, Turning Credit Cards Into Loyalty Cards

2/28/11Follow @xconomy

Providence, RI-based Swipely is announcing today that it’s making a move in how its technology enables consumers to interact with their credit cards. Last summer the startup launched a service that allowed consumers to tell their social networks about and review the purchases they made on their credit and debit cards, but CEO and founder Angus Davis says it found that “reviewing alone just isn’t compelling enough.”

The startup is now enabling consumers to get specialized savings and loyalty points just by paying with their credit or debit card at participating merchants—75 of which have already been enlisted in the Rhode Island area. Swipely plans to push out this new service nationwide this year, starting with the rest of the Northeast, Davis says. The changes have been in the works for a few months at Swipely, which last May raised $7.5 million in Series A money.

The new service, which goes live today, is still free to customers. The way it will charge merchant clients varies from business to business, but Davis says the cost of Swipely is entirely tied to its performance, so the more consumers its technology attracts and keeps sending back to businesses, the more the startup makes. Swipely will also provide insight on customer shopping trends to merchant clients.

Reviews are still going to be a part of the business under the new model, but are much more peripheral, with customers opting in to discuss the savings they nabbed with Swipely, Davis says. Swipely is also using its existing integration with Facebook and Twitter to give consumers a “shopping news feed” of what’s going on at their favorite businesses, he says.

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