Foursquare partners with Visa, MasterCard to monetize its discount platform

230px-Foursquare_logo.svgFoursquare announced on Tuesday that it would begin accepting Visa, MasterCard and debit cards, allowing consumers to connect their cards to Foursquare accounts in order to access special discounts and cash-back specials at participating retailers.

“This is going to be a pretty core part of our revenue model going forward,” Foursquare Product Manager Noah Weiss said, according to WebProNews.

The partnership builds on one established by Foursquare and American Express in 2011, in which customers earned money back on their American Express cards for checking in at certain retailers and paying for advertised promotions using their AmEx credit card.

Foursquare has been criticized in the past for its inability to monetize its platform, even with its partnership with AmEx. As a result of the Visa-MasterCard partnership, however, Foursquare will generate fee income from all three credit card companies, MediaPost reports.

“This is where you’re going to see merchants really realize the power of mobility,” Foursquare CRO Steven Rosenblatt, who left Apple to join the company last summer, said, according to Forbes.

Late last year, Foursquare launched Promoted Updates, which provides discounts and other offers to users via the app’s Explore search engine. More than 50 percent of users who take advantage of a Promoted Update check into the merchant location within 72 hours.

“We wanted to prove that we could drive people from the digital world to the physical world,” Rosenblatt said, Forbes reports. “That’s the thing marketers have been striving for forever and really never could prove it.”

Though Foursquare, which is privately held, does not disclose its yearly revenue, Rosenblatt said that the new revenue-generating partnership will be beneficial for the company.

“I can say we’re anticipating significant growth in 2013, significant,” Rosenblatt said, according to Forbes. “Expect a lot from us this year.”

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