A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Groupon Testing A Payments System to Compete With Square and PayPal (Business Insider)
Rocky Agarwal: Groupon is testing out an offering of its own in the increasingly crowded payments space, according to an email I was forwarded by a business that was solicited for the service. The pricing is extremely aggressive, with a 1.8% transaction fee and a 15 cent per transaction charge for transactions processed through the terminal. Square charges 2.75% with no per transaction fee. PayPal Here and Verifone Sail charge 2.7%, also with no transaction fee.
RIP Yellow Pages? Phone Books Re-shape Themselves for Life After Listings (PaidContent)
Robert Andrews: Innovation among traditional yellow pages providers will involve playing a part in many more sectors of the online advertising and marketing value chain. It may involve complementing rather than competing with powerful search rivals. And it must involve inventing new products and outlets for business marketing that might keep the publishers ahead of the game next time.
Loyalty Startup Belly Hits 1 Millionth Check-In; Active Merchants Say Belly Check-ins Top Foursquare (TechCrunch)
The company allows customers to check-in to a location using a physical loyalty card or mobile app which they scan via a consumer-facing iPad installed at point-of-sale. By doing so, customers collect points that can later be redeemed for unique rewards tailored specifically for the business in question.
Local Newspapers’ Crisis: Yes, Hyperlocal Sites Can Work in Big Cities Too (Guardian)
Jonathan Turton, the face behind U.K. hyperlocal blog West Hampstead Life, started commenting on local news through Twitter. “I started to realise that it might be a good way of doing local news. It seemed quite an interesting idea.” At first, his efforts were an experiment with two aims. Turton wanted to see whether the concept of spreading news on Twitter would work and he wanted to meet new people locally.
Is Target-Shopkick a Model to Combat Showrooming? (ScreenWerk)
Greg Sterling: By itself the Shopkick model doesn’t preclude showrooming — although rewarding people for in-store purchases does. But I can still go into stores, scan products, collect points and buy online. In addition to participating in third party loyalty programs such as Shopkick, retailers should all have loyalty programs integrated into their smartphone apps.