Sionic Mobile has announced the release of its mobile community marketplace platform created specifically for sponsorship and branding by financial institutions. The ION Local mCommerce platform is designed to help banks and credit unions monetise mobile banking and directly address the threat of losing market and mindshare to PayPal, Google Wallet, Apple and other non-bank providers.
“There is a lot of hype around mobile payments and mobile, digital wallets today,” said Paul Provenzano, VP FI Strategy & Development, Sionic Mobile, “leading to worry and confusion by FIs across the country.”
The free ION Rewards app is linked it to the consumer’s bank account, credit/debit card or Dwolla account. They can pay with their phone at any ION merchant and get paid 1% of the checkout amount in IONs instantly. Users also earn IONs when connecting with friends and signing up their favourite places. 1,000 IONs equals US$1.00 and may be spent like cash at any ION merchant for anything.
Paying at checkout with ION is designed to be faster than using an ATM or swiping a card. Consumers enter a payment amount and ION presents a bar code on the phone. Merchants without barcode scanners use their phones or tablets to validate the payment, and present a confirmation message on customers’ phones.
With financial institutions as one of the most trusted and central entities in any community, ION Local is designed to enable FIs to leverage their community presence and position. “Financial institutions serve as a community’s core and our mobile marketplace platform connects consumers and merchants through these institutions,” added Provenzano. “Most compelling is that ION Local enables mobile offers and payments via smartphones or other mobile devices with a couple taps or clicks.”
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