Thursday, July 28, 2016

Technology Leads The Way for Startup Business: LevelUp

Are tangible credit cards a thing of the past? With a new startup business called LevelUp, this may be the case. LevelUp is a mobile application that allows customers to pay without taking out their wallet and using their credit/debit card. The LevelUp application might just change the way people pay when shopping or eating out.

So, let’s dig a little deeper into this creative new startup business.

LevelUp was started by Seth Priebatsch of Boston, Massachusetts. Before starting LevelUp, Seth created a gaming program called SCVNGR. Being a Princeton “drop-out”, he was only 21 when starting LevelUp.  He wanted to have a cheaper way to handle credit card charges to merchants. So unlike competitor Square, who charges a 2.75% processing fee, LevelUp only charges 2% and recently dropped even lower to 1.95%.

How It Works:

So here comes the cool part. Download the application, put your credit or debit card information in and BOOM! Your information turns into a QR-code to scan at a merchants store or eatery. It’s really that simple! When a store has the LevelUp POS system, you simply take your phone out, open up the app and place your phone in front to be scanned.

 Innovation and Features:

LevelUp has 14,000 partners including local Haddonfield, NJ coffee shop Saxbys and 1.5 million people using its application. There are many different features that a merchant can use to gain loyalty with customers and track the type of purchases they make. LevelUp offers a unique SDK (software development kit), for store owners to customize loyalty programs, receipt notifications and track analytics. These features allow merchants to easily access information from customers and engage with them post transaction. LevelUp also uses API (application programming interface) so merchants can develop their own campaigns, such as loyalty, customer retention and acquisition.

Apple Pay Vs. LevelUp:
“Your card number is never stored on your device, and when you pay your debit or credit card numbers are never sent to merchants. Apple Pay assigns a unique number for each purchase, so your payments stay private and secure.” (

For LevelUp, merchants keep your information because of the loyalty card programs they ensue. The LevelUp app keeps your credit card information stored in your phone, but only so there is a simple scannable bar-code to make a purchase. This way it retains customers back to a business and still makes it easy to pay. LevelUp is specific to businesses that have the LevelUp POS systems.

What does this mean for customers? Well the application allows not only credit or debit cards to be loaded into the app, but also pre-loaded cash and gift cards. The merchants can create a loyalty program or card that customers can pre-load to Apple Wallet. This makes it easier for the customer to re-visit the store and have the card ready to go.
LevelUp is helping change the paying game with its helpful and easy technology behind creating customer retention for merchants and easy paying method for customers. Just a simple startup can turn into something even bigger.

Sources used: "LevelUp for Developers." Developers. LevelUp, n.d. Web. 28 July 2016.

Shontell, Alyson. "Payment Startup LevelUp Thinks It Has Found A Way To Charge Merchants A 0% Credit Card Processing Fee." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 16 Apr. 2014. Web. 28 July 2016.

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