Groupon Merchants app users on Android will now be able to accept credit and debit card payments for the first time. By attaching the free Groupon card reader to their handset via the headphone jack, sellers will be able to more effectively track ROI by combining deal redemption and payments in one app.
In a bid to win in the mobile payments space, Groupon makes a ‘lowest rate guarantee’ on transactions taken by US merchants and can be used by non-Groupon participants at slightly higher rates. Swiped transactions for MasterCard, Visa, and Discover cards are charged 1.8 per cent plus $0.15 per transaction. Swiped transactions for Amex are charged at 3 per cent plus $0.15. Charges are higher for keyed-in card details.
Groupon introduced payments into its iOS app in September last year. Merchants on both platforms can scan and redeem Groupons, display redemption history and help users manage deals.
Trouble at the deals company
According to Bloomberg, Groupon co-founder and CEO, Andrew Mason, is only just hanging on to his job. After becoming one of the fastest growing companies of all time, it saw no growth in the quarter to September 2012, compared to 417 per cent at the same time a year earlier. Groupon went public in November 2011 with a share value of $20, but the company’s stock price has fallen more than 70 per cent.
After receiving bad publicity for failing check whether deals were legitimate or whether businesses has enough capacity to fulfil offers, Groupon has increased its focus on improving merchant and customer satisfaction. The company has created software to help merchants better control the deals they offer and launched Groupon Now, which is yet to be offered outside of the US, which gives location-based deals to consumers on the go.
The company is also investing heavily in Groupon Goods, selling cut price electronics to its email database, but is likely to struggle against competitors like Amazon and eBay.