Merchant Innovation

The Visa Checkout Ad Blitz Begins (With A Million Free Pizzas)

Visa is getting serious about getting cardholders to sign up for its Visa Checkout mobile payments platform. The card brand unveiled a massive promotional campaign this week that includes giving away pizza and flowers, all in an effort to get customers to register their Visa cards for the mobile payments system.

The first wave (literally) is a television commercial featuring professional surfer Kolohe Andino paying for a Pizza Hut order using Visa Checkout while riding a tube wave, then having the pizza delivered mid-ocean. The spot is tied to an offer that starts Sept. 7 that will give away up to one million large-pizza coupons to customers who order from Pizza Hut and pay with Visa Checkout.

Even before that, cardholders who enroll in and use Visa Checkout can place an order for 18 free roses for delivery by 1800Flowers.com. The order has to be placed through visacheckout.com/flowers by 4 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 5, and customers still have to pay shipping and taxes — and, of course, sign up for Visa Checkout.

The campaign to get cardholders signed up is crucial because most previous mobile-wallet efforts, including Visa’s V.Me, have seen little use by customers and thus little interest on the part of merchants. While Visa has signed up Neiman Marcus, Staples and Petco along with Pizza Hut and 1800Flowers for Visa Checkout, creating demand depends on getting customers on board.

Visa Checkout also represents the card brand’s first opportunity to connect directly with cardholders on a large scale, which could give it both further marketing opportunities and stronger brand affinity.

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