In the latest move to expand Bing Offers, Microsoft is testing a service in the Seattle area that allows consumers to link their credit cards to their account to redeem discounts and coupons.
Redeeming online offers requires consumers to swipe their credit card at the register without having to print coupons or show QR codes on their phones. In Seattle, Microsoft supports offers from Buca Di Beppo, Pizza Hut, Mooyah Burgers, and several other small- to-medium-sized business companies through transaction processing company First Data, and payment networks Visa, and MasterCard.
The service, an alternative to pre-purchased deals, will operate under a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) model to keep down advertising fees. Microsoft Vice President Erik Jorgensen explains in a post that the service will regulate promotions by limiting the risk of over-subscription of coupons or high consumer traffic.
Perhaps the service also will allow consumers to use the Bing points they earn for searches on the engine. A Microsoft spokesperson said there is no connection between Bing Offers and Bing Rewards, which rewards consumers with points for searching on Bing. Bing Offers aggregates offers from favorite deal sites, such as Groupon, Living Social, Yelp, and others so consumers can see them all in one place.
Microsoft also partnered with Bank of America, Facebook, First Data, Linkable Networks, and others to form the CardLinx Association. The group will create standards, establish increase interoperability, and promote the growth of the card-linked offers industry.
Card-linked offers will aim to solve problem around redemption. It gives merchants and advertisers the ability to deliver an offer or deal to consumers via their credit, debit or other payment cards without having to use a paper coupon, voucher or promotion code on their mobile devices.