Google adds virtual loyalty card company, provides managers with consumer demographics

A recent Google acquisition attempts to enhance the mobile payment experiences for its customers.

Punchd, a smartphone-based loyalty card business, was recently acquired by Google to add a new dimension to its Google Wallet mobile payment system, Search Engine Watch reports. Punchd works by utilizing QR codes to make up to 10 purchases of a service count toward receiving the 11th free.

This helps local businesses because the digital codes offer useful information about customer demographics, how many times a code has been scanned and repeat customers.

When a user becomes available for a loyalty reward, he or she is notified via email.

Google plans to take advantage of Punchd's technology by using it as a stepping stone between those who use paper loyalty cards and those who have yet to sign up for Google's digital wallet.

Punchd founder and CEO Jitrenda Gupta writes that once customers and merchants start receiving actual value from virtual loyalty cards, getting them to switch to a digital wallet is easier than asking them to switch to mobile payments directly, according to VentureBeat.