Merchant Warehouse, a provider of payment technologies, has acquired gift and loyalty company Opticard to offer deeper mobile and digital engagement opportunities to small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).
With a broader suite of gift, loyalty and prepaid programs, Merchant Warehouse will be able to “round out our offering to merchants by giving them more tools to grow and expand their business,” said Chris Wuhrer, SVP Strategic Initiatives and Product Marketing, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. Customer retention and loyalty have become paramount to retailers, even in the SMB space. The acquisition will enable Merchant Warehouse to offer its SMB customers a cohesive solution that combines payment, gift card and loyalty programs.
“Currently, we’re seeing businesses become quite savvy around customer acquisition and retention,” Wuhrer said. “SMBs also understand that combining payments with loyalty and rewards, discount loyalty and punch cards can increase both frequency and spend.”
With the transaction, Opticard will continue to operate independently of the Merchant Warehouse business. Merchant Warehouse will continue to invest in Opticard offerings and infrastructure to further enhance the solution.
The Opticard team will work directly with Merchant Warehouse General Manager Troy Smith to integrate the loyalty and gift platform into the Genius Customer Engagement Platform, Wuhrer explained. “Our goal here is to empower businesses with the capabilities that were once only available to large businesses, in a seamless solution.”
Since its inception approximately 20 years ago, Opticard has acquired a varied customer base that includes small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. Throughout its history, the company has completed more than 20 million transactions on an annual basis.
Wuhrer reported that the Opticard purchase is part of Merchant Warehouse’s ongoing roadmap for building a cohesive omnichannel offering for retailers, which encompasses physical in-store transactions, e-Commerce and mobile payment.
“When the integration is full, we’ll unify all of these consumer touch points in ways that are easy for the business,” Wuhrer added. “For example, consumers can receive a gift card, but use it online, or apply that gift card to their mobile device. We’re extending existing technologies, like mobile wallets, for merchants to use in simple ways, without creating additional barriers.”
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