Twitter links in-store offers to retailer tweets

Twitter is getting physical with its commerce offerings by launching Twitter Offers – discounts that users can claim right from an advertiser’s tweet and redeem in the retailer’s brick-and-mortar store.

In order to access the service users must sync a credit or debit card with Twitter,  claim a digital voucher from an advertisers tweet, then pay with the Twitter-linked debit or credit card in-store.

This is not the first retailer-friendly integration that the social network has launched. Twitter’s ‘Buy’ button allows users to buy an item directly from a tweet, extending retailers’ online reach. Now, Twitter is tackling the commerce that still takes place in physical stores.

Twitter will initially make money by charging advertisers fees to promote the tweets, re/Code reports, but could eventually decide to charge retailers a fee for every offer that is claimed or redeemed.

Twitter has already started using these kind of deals, allowing American Express customers to link a card to Twitter and use hashtags to access deals. Now that Twitter has acquired CardSpring, it can eliminate the need for a hashtag and make it available to all retailers on all card networks.

Security is obviously a key issue for users syncing their credit card to the service, one that Twitter has addressed in a blog post announcing the service:

“After users add a Twitter Offer to their credit or debit card, that card information will be encrypted and safely stored to make it easier for them to claim other offers or make purchases on Twitter in the future. We also give users the ability to remove this information from their account at anytime.”

Not-so-coincidentally, the launch coincided with the week leading up to Black Friday in the US, and will be well on its way to accessing the Christmas retail rush. Select retailers started promoting their deals on Twitter yesterday.

Twitter’s announcement made no mention of mobile payments, but few changes would need to be made before the service could work with some mobile wallets.

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