BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Nov 28, 2012) - This year has been pretty good so far for us here at LevelUp. We eliminated interchange. We made LevelUp totally universal. We formed some crazy-awesome partnerships. And we did it all while duking it out with some of the biggest companies out there to capture mobile wallet-share (ahem, Google, Visa, Mastercard, Starbucks, Walmart, The Death Star etc.).
But even though the year is coming to an end, we're just getting started. Today, LevelUp is announcing one more milestone for the year: reaching 500,000 users.
"Hitting 500,000 users didn't happen overnight. In fact it took us just over a year to get there. What we're doing is trying to engineer a revolution. To totally upend the traditional way to pay... and that's no quick task," said Seth Priebatsch, chief ninja of LevelUp. "Even as a small(ish) company, we're outpacing some serious competitors in the race to intrigue consumers with mobile payments. As it stands, we think we've created some pretty compelling reasons for merchants and consumers to pick LevelUp over any other payment option... whether that be mobile, credit card or even cash."
Since 500,000 is a big milestone for us, we thought we'd take a look back at the three key things we did to capture the interest of 500,000 people. The core unifying element of all of these strategies is the focus on motivating mainstream consumers to adopt mobile payments. By the time you hit 500,000 people, you're starting to run out of early adopters, so making the mobile payment revolution a real thing is all about making it a mainstream thing.
1. Prove to (mainstream) consumers a subtle change is worth making.
LevelUp is up against two perfectly acceptable ways of paying: cash and credit cards. Trying to create a subtle, yet monumental shift in how people pay is no easy task. But we sweetened the deal for people and gave them an extra incentive in the form of rewards at their favorite businesses. Just for doing what they usually do: pay for things and subsequently eat sandwiches or drink coffee. Change is never easy, but with the right mix of incentives and convenience, we've managed to get a whole bunch of people to come along with us for the ride.
2. Eliminate a (real) economic threat.
Payment processing, or interchange, costs businesses $50 billion a year; it's the largest invisible tax on the economy. To us here at LevelUp, this is as absurd as having to pay to breathe. So we introduced interchange zero, which allows merchants to stop paying processing fees forever, and instead pay for campaigns that grow the business. And in the process, we completely changed how businesses think about transactions. Paying to move money doesn't make sense, but paying to move people into your business does.
3. Make everything about your app universal (in every possible way).
LevelUp wants to be everywhere: in every consumer's hands, on every business's checkout counter. In order to do this, we have to make it as painless as possible for consumers and merchants to adopt. So, we're taking an open approach, and doing everything we can to support how consumers want to pay with their phones and the payment systems merchants already have in place. This year, we launched white label apps for enterprises on LevelUp, announced plans to NFC-enable our terminals and integrated with 30% of POS systems. But we won't stop there, we'll continue updating and integrating until the only thing left holding merchants and consumers back is, well... flip phones.
With these three strategies, we're bringing the mobile payment revolution from a far-off-galaxy to a business near you. Stay tuned as we continue our mission to change payments for the better in 2013.
Want to join the mobile payments revolution? Visit www.thelevelup.com or grab free app for iPhone, Android or Windows Phone to get started.
LevelUp is a revolutionary new way to pay. Users pay with their phone, saving time and money. Businesses pay 0% payment processing fees and reinvest those savings into growing their businesses by attracting new customers and bringing them back.
LevelUp is a part of SCVNGR which is backed by Google Ventures, Balderton Capital, Continental Advisors, Highland Capital, Transmedia Capital and T-Venture.