How LevelUp is Changing the Landscape of Mobile Payments

Most small to medium sized businesses have historically found the mobile payment space to be a non-viable solution to their business needs. It has been one of a few new mobility solutions that is too fragmented, too expensive and too cumbersome to implement successfully. Most companies have found that to add mobile payments to their business model, they need additional capital to invest in more hardware than they've ever needed before.

Until now.

Thanks to a new mobility solution called LevelUp, even small startups can enjoy the benefits of having consumers pay for products on their mobile devices. In fact, since the solution came to market in October, it has raised more than 30 million in dollars from large corporations while bringing on board more than 3,600 merchants.

Three Ways LevelUp is Making Mobile Payment More Viable:

Mobility solutions are vital to a business of any size. But they must be affordable and easy to implement. That’s why outsourcing IT to third party companies, like LevelUp, scores in three ways:

  1. Affordability for merchants

  2. Flexibility with payment methods

  3. Customer loyalty

LevelUp Focuses on Affordability

This solution eliminates the transaction fees (or “swipe” fees) that can cost participating merchants up to $50 billion dollars per year. With the fees removed, more merchants will adopt the system. LevelUp can afford to bring “affordability” into play because its first generations of hardware that are already in use by merchants and were created in part thanks to T-Mobile. T-Mobile actually lent its own hardware and vital infrastructure to the mission of LevelUp. Since then, LevelUp has worked even closer with T-Mobile to produce its mobile payment solution.

Payment Flexibility

LevelUp is striving to be payment agnostic. For mobility solutions in the mobile payment arena to really work, they must be able to allow consumers to pay with all types of methods people use to pay from their mobile phones. This is a big deal, and a hard thing to accomplish, but LevelUp is close to the goal thanks to its new hardware that supports NFC payments. (The iPhone 5 is rumored to have a NFC chip, too.) This new hardware will be free to merchants and supports NFC, magnetic strip scanning, and even those QR codes which never really took fire.


A big focus on loyalty. Better than most mobility solutions, LevelUp brings many loyalty strategies into play to keep its competitive advantage high. The loyalty aspect of its business model is actually quite robust. LevelUp provides many customer acquisition and customer loyalty programs for the merchants it brings on board. They create many great offers, coupons and deals to keep merchants happy. (LevelUp makes 35 cents per dollar through these campaigns. A good startup still has to make money, right?) 

One of LevelUp’s merchant campaigns that will launch later this year will involve customer birthdays—and coupons merchants can provide to customers. (Anyone who spends $25 with them could get a $5 coupon sent to their account, for example.) If other mobility solutions took the customer loyalty route, they would surely see their success grow just as fast as LevelUp. With its affordability, flexibility and "stickiness" LevelUp will remain a player.

Mobility Matters, Get a Free Mobility Consultation and See Why

Mobility solutions make up many of today's start ups because the need is there--and continually growing. As smartphones become the norm and consumers continue to become more mobile, today's savvy small and medium sized businesses have to keep up. 

How mobile is your business? To learn more about mobility solutions that can help you succeed, contact iCorps for a free mobility consultation today. 

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