LevelUp, Merchant Warehouse Offer On-Boarding Incentive

What's Next In Payments®
6:14 PM EDT April 25th, 2013

LevelUp and Merchant Warehouse are serious about bringing mobile payments to small merchants everywhere.

The two companies have worked together in the past, and their latest collaboration – a $1 million development fund for merchants looking to create White-Label LevelUp apps – offers quite the incentive for merchants considering taking the mPayments leap, offering 25 percent off development costs for those who qualify.

Why are LevelUp and Merchant Warehouse aiming to accomplish with the deal, and what type of businesses can sign up? PYMNTS.com spoke with Chris Mahl, Chief Strategy Officer at LevelUp, and Henry Helgeson, CEO at Merchant Warehouse, to find out.

PYMNTS.com: What does a merchant need to do to qualify for this offer? What are you looking for in a company who you feel deserves some help rolling out the White Label platform?

Chris Mahl: Any merchant with 10 or more locations that already uses Merchant Warehouse, extends their contract with Merchant Warehouse, or signs on to begin using Merchant Warehouse for processing will receive the 25 percent discount off a custom white-labeled mobile payment app. We decided to make the qualifications really straightforward, because it would be difficult to determine who deserves the discount based on subjective terms. The reality is that nearly all merchants with 10 or more locations can likely afford the full cost of building a White-Labeled app through LevelUp, so cost isn’t the hurdle we’re trying to remove – instead, we’re tackling the mental battle that merchants face. Because mobile payment technology is still relatively new, it is just outside the comfort zone for many merchants. We think this discount is just the nudge most merchants need to dive into mobile payments and deliver additional value through the LevelUp + Merchant Warehouse partnership.

Can you give us a rough idea of how many merchants you expect to be able to capitalize on this deal?

”ªMahl: We”¬ have allocated $1 million to help produce apps for about 50-60 merchants, but the actual number will ultimately depend on whether each participating merchant decides to develop an app for both mobile platforms (iOS and Android) or just one”¬ platform. ”¬

This is a great incentive for merchants who want to add Level Up and are looking to build out their mPayments capabilities. How can offering LevelUp’s White Label platform transform the way a merchant conducts business?

Mahl: There are a lot of merchants eager to benefit from all the value LevelUp provides – like revenue-driving campaigns, lower interchange fees, and real-time customer analytics – but, these merchants also want to deliver customers a mobile payment experience that’s true to their brand. LevelUp White-Label lets merchants have the best of both worlds, so they can build a completely branded mobile payment app and have access to all of LevelUp’s features. LevelUp is known for it’s ability to revolutionize the way merchants do business, so LevelUp White-Label opens up the opportunity for even more merchants to take advantage of what we offer.

Perhaps an obvious question – how is Merchant Warehouse looking to benefit from this deal?

Henry Helgeson: There is an incredible opportunity for merchants to strategically grow their business when they know how to harness the power of mobile, but it’s still a big challenge getting them to take that initial step to adopt mobile payment capabilities. The co-development fund is our effort to encourage merchants to begin leveraging mobile payment technologies. Our role specifically in this partnership is to help small businesses nationwide more comfortably adopt mobile payment capabilities through the powerful combination of our Genius Customer Engagement Platform and the LevelUp White-label. We’re also hoping that with this enhanced capability, it will encourage greater merchant adoption of the Genius platform nationwide.

And the same question to LevelUp?

Mahl: The co-development fund is part of a larger strategy LevelUp is implementing to accelerate the acceptance of mobile payments by merchants across the globe. Many merchants out there are interested in entering the mobile payments space with a custom-branded app, so we’re bringing that opportunity to them with the fund. As more and more merchants sign on to accept mobile payments, whether through LevelUp White-Label or the original LevelUp platform, we’ll start seeing the rate of mobile payment adoption- both by merchants and consumers- increase exponentially, which is our ultimate goal.

Obviously Merchant Warehouse and LevelUp have a history together, and that’s continuing here. Why do you think these two companies seem to work so well together?

Helgeson: In my opinion, Merchant Warehouse and LevelUp are driven by the same goal: to create a more seamless, powerful and meaningful payment experience, for both the merchant and the consumer. When I see what LevelUp is doing – in offering Interchange Zero, LevelUp White-Label, and creating an open platform – I see another company in the payments space working to create a better, more efficient process. Merchant Warehouse was founded on the idea that processing payments should be an affordable and easy process, and we see this partnership with LevelUp as an extension of our founding philosophy: making mobile payments easy and affordable for businesses. We’re excited to continue to work with LevelUp and be a part of the payments revolution.

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