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Perspective: Getting a Taste of Universal Commerce at SXSW

Last week, we launched the new OfferWise solution to improve the coupon redemption process at the point of sale. OfferWise lets consumers attach deals, coupons and loyalty programs from participating providers to one or more of their payment cards or to their mobile wallet. When consumers use their cards or mobile devices to pay, the offers are applied automatically. There’s nothing to clip or print and bring to the store, and no barcodes to scan at checkout—it just works.

The OfferWise solution includes an API from our technology partner CardSpring, which allows web and app developers to integrate OfferWise with their products without having to change the purchase experience or their store infrastructure. WhaleShark Media, developers of, are the first offer publisher to launch a project using the OfferWise solution.

We got to see OfferWise in action at the SXSW Interactive Festival today, where launched a promotion to provide deals at top Austin-area food trucks during the conference. Conference-goers (and other foodies in the area) can link the coupon offers to their credit or debit card. Once a card is linked, consumers can experience instant savings at participating food trucks with the swipe of their card.

Top Chef: Texas winner Paul Qui is the owner of East Side King, one of the food trucks participating in RetailMeNot’s “What the truck?” promotion at SXSW. First Data was in Austin last week, training the East Side King staff in anticipation of this week’s promotion. As you can see from the picture, it was a pretty informal training session. And that’s the point. We’re trying to make offer redemption for everyone involved.

Consumers today expect a shopping experience that seamlessly crosses online and offline channels, and they expect consistent access to payment applications whether they’re at home, walking down the street, shopping in their favorite store, or buying a delicious gourmet lunch from a truck. It’s the kind of seamless experience we call Universal Commerce, and as more people get a taste of it, it’s going to be everywhere.

Sarah Owen is vice president of mobile commerce solutions at First Data.