My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: FourSquare ramps up Business Model with Burger King Discount Deals from VISA and MasterCard - How Telecom Providers MNP helps The Conjuring of Free Calling Credit via LBS


Sunday, March 3, 2013

FourSquare ramps up Business Model with Burger King Discount Deals from VISA and MasterCard - How Telecom Providers MNP helps The Conjuring of Free Calling Credit via LBS

“FourSquare is in the business of connecting people with places, and places with people. We make money when those two parties are happy”

Product Manager Noah Weiss in an interview with CNET on February 25, 2013

FourSquare, the LBS (Location Based Service) Social Network is slowly heading towards having a solid Business Model and finally, finally making some profit of at least US$2 million for 2012 alone. This as the company has now partnered with VISA and MasterCard to offer US$2 cash back for every US$10 purchase at Burger King as noted in “FourSquare checks in to more revenue with credit card specials”, published February 25, 2013 9:01 PM PST by Jennifer Van Grove, CNET News.

Now this is nothing new, actually. Back in June 2011, FourSquare had partnered with American Express to offer the same discounts for checking into certain participating merchants. I had back then had touted as a step towards a business model in a bid to wean themselves off VC (Venture Capital) funding as noted in my blog article entitledThe FourSquare's American Express Discount - Geo-Location Fast Five 10 million Strong”.

Now two (2) years into the future with membership thirty (30) million Strong and it’s pretty much the same deal, powered by their Credit Card partner, First Data that handles the Credit Card Transactions:

1.      FourSquare members see Burger King Credit Card special when they check-in. They can also find it in FourSquare’s Explore tab
2.      Once they sync their card to FourSquare, they are effectively registered and thus pay as normal

Easy as pie! And yes, dear Reader, ONLY in the US of A!

Makes you realize that the potential for LBS is a slowly growing one, even here in Jamaica. I am still surprise that Telecom Providers both in the US of A and Jamaica haven’t taken more to LBS.

US Telecom Provider AT&T does a service called ShopAlerts as described in my blog article entitled AT&T and ShopAlerts - Confessions of a Geo-Location Shopaholic, but that’s since 2011 and I’m yet to come across any news on its expansion or improvement. Ditto too any news on Google News, a Geo-Location News Service as described in my blog article entitledGeo-Location Rise and Google News - Vybz Kartel's News Minority Report Color-ing Book”.

Telecom Providers GSM (Global System Mobile) and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) Mobile Networks use Triangulation Data based on which Cell Tower Sector – Alpha, Beta or Gamma Sector – the customer happens to be in to pinpoint their location and route Voice Calls and SMS (Short Messaging Service) Messages as described in my blog article entitledMobile Triangulation without GPS - a solution to crime under our noses”.

The difference is that Telecom Providers do not use GPS (Global Positioning Satellite), GPS being a service reserved for use by Map Apps on your smartphone or Blackberry.

Combined with MNP (Mobile Number Portability) and the resultant MRSI (Mandatory Registration of Subscriber Data) and blocking Unlocked smartphones and mobile phones in general as noted in my blog article entitled “Librarian of the Library of Congress makes smartphone unlocking Illegal - How Jamaica can benefit from the Safe Haven of MNP by banning unlocking of smartphones and Tablets, Telecom Providers benefit by offering LBS via Mobile Triangulation.

Geo-Location Services such as Vehicle Fleet Tracking as currently being implemented to track Delinquent Jamaican Police Officers as described in “Tracking system coming for police vehicles”, published Saturday, March 02, 2013 BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS Senior staff reporter, The Jamaica Observer. Once the Jamaican Police are ship-shape, Tackling Crime via access to an MRSI Database will eventually led to Crime Eradication.

Telecom Providers will benefit from LBS under such an MNP environment, a stringent requirement for to getting a new Area Code as described in my blog article entitledOUR applies for new Area Code for Jamaica - Competition in Telecoms in the coming Hunger Game Catching Fire of Mobile Computing”. 

I even described one such which I dubbed Brown Dawg I Spy Rewards, which is an expansion on the then-popular Digicel I Spy Game that was introduced in 2004 or 2005 as noted in my blog article entitledBrown Dawg and I Spy Rewards- Geo-location rewards system for Mobile Social Networking”. It can be added onto the Brown Dawg Social Network concept suggested in the article as a means of monetizing Calls being forwarded to Voice Mail.

Granted, there’s the issue of overcoming the fear of Big Brother tracking you everywhere you go. But akin to our American Counterparts, I suspect many Jamaicans would be willing to give up their Geo-Location Data as well as be paid to listen to Voicemail and Read SMS Ads just to quality for The Conjuring (2013) of Free phone Calls.

Maybe Burger King or any other Fast Food outlet may join in on the Fun, were FourSquare to go Global IF Smartphone Adoption picks up in Developing World Countries as predicted in my blog article entitledMWC 2013 reveals Firefox OS & Tizen OS launching Second & Third Quarter 2013 respectively - Samsung's Despicable Me 2 & Mozilla practices The ABC's of Death”. FourSquare, an Early Pioneer in the US of A, leads the way to an LBS future.
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