In the near future, business owners may be able to look at digital maps of the economy, visual layouts that feature not only streets and landmarks, but up-to-date pockets of spending that can be used to identify areas where a certain restaurant or retail location can maximize its market performance (Jump to 9:05).
But, that’s only part of the big picture for Wisely. The newly launched, self-described search engine for the physical world uses payment data to inform consumer, and soon merchant, buying decisions in a way that it says improves upon past solutions like Yelp, Google and Foursquare (Jump to 0:22).
“Over time, Google has proven that search data is valuable, Facebook has proven social data is valuable,” Mike Vichich, Wisely’s CEO and co-founder, told PYMNTS.com. “Our view is that payments data is equally if not more important. It’s the manifestation of that behavior.”
By allowing consumers to sort listings by average bill size and popularity, Vichich says Wisely solves feelings of doubt that are common with traditional user reviews, which he believes are all too easily skewed due to a reliance on one-off consumers experiences and a susceptibility to the opinions of fake users.
Still, recent reports find that user reviews, despite their faults, have become the main driver of conversions, and Wisely, despite its promise, seems to run counter to this emerging wisdom. Vichich, however, doesn’t see his solution as an alternative. Rather, he says reviews require the context and objective data Wisely can provide.
“When I hear the trend, what I hear is people find meaning in how other people either like or dislike a place, that’s the job a review accomplishes, we’re doing the same thing, it’s just a different manifestation, if you’re going to the same place over and over and over, then that’s a review,” Vichich said. (Jump to 1:39)
Still, the company faces obstacles. Wisely is currently only powered by data from American Express users (Jump to 3:04) due to issues that stem from cleansing and processing data from major payment processors. How does wisely aim to overcome this issue to grow its network (Jump to 4:40), and how does it plan to leverage this data for loyalty offerings that can compete with Belly, Fivestar and Pirq in the loyalty space? (Jump to 6:00)