Amex partners Foursquare to bring location-based deals to UK

American Express has partnered with Foursquare, the mobile check-in service, to enable its card members to get location-based offers from a number of UK high street brands including Tesco, House of Fraser, Nando's and Primark.

American Express: runs Foursquare campaign
American Express: runs Foursquare campaign

The expansion of the scheme, which launched in the US last July, to the UK is part of American Express' broader strategy to digitise its core assets and use technology to deliver "added value" to both its card members and merchant partners.

American Express cardholders can register to sync their card with Foursquare, so when they use the app they will see American Express Specials appear when they are at certain retailers.

When they "check in" with Foursquare at a retailer they will automatically receive the discount if they purchase the item on their card, without having to present the voucher to the cashier.

Retailers participating in the scheme include Bella Italia, Café Rouge, Eat, PizzaExpress and Strada.

Tesco and Eat are giving £5 back for the first £5 customers spend in stores, while the other brands are offering £10 back for the first £10 they spend.

The system is powered by American Express Smart Offer API, which is already live in the US.

American Express said this will enable participating merchant to take advantage of location-based marketing without the having to invest time and money, while measuring its success on the company’s closed loop network.

Colin Walsh, managing director at American Express UK, said: "Our customers want the best deals at their convenience.

"They are increasingly connected online and when it comes to shopping they are actively seeking real-time offers that generate savings, while merchants are keen to embrace the benefits that smartphones can bring them."

Dennis Crowley, co-founder and chief executive of Foursquare, said its partnership with American Express has been a "huge success" in the US.

He said: "American Express' focus on building customer loyalty perfectly aligns with Foursquare's goals."

The partnership is a much-needed boost for Foursquare, which faces competition from Facebook and O2 in the UK as a platform for location-based offer schemes.

It also comes shortly after O2 launched its Wallet service in the UK.

Google has so far been coy about when, if at all, it will be brining its Google Wallet to the UK.

Follow Sarah Shearman on Twitter @Shearmans

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