American National Bank and Guaranty Bond Bank have begun offering mobile payments to their customers and the community with partner Bling Nation, a provider of mobile payments services that connect financial institutions, businesses and consumers through tap-and-pay for purchases at the point of sale.
Bling Nation now has agreements with more than 15 banks and its service has been deployed in communities across the U.S. including Palo Alto, Calif.; Woodland Park, Col.; Saratoga Springs, NY and Clarksville, Tenn.
Customers with a checking account at either bank can sign up for a BlingTag, a quarter-sized microchip sticker that adheres to the back of their mobile phone to enable debit transactions directly from their account.
“We decided to work with Bling, because we were impressed with the technology and the ‘cool factor’ it introduced into our community,” said Vikki Goates, executive vice president, chief financial officer and cashier for American National Bank. “The Bling Nation team is very energetic about its product, and they are continuously coming up with new ways to market it to our customers and potential customers.”
Each time a purchase is made using a BlingTag, the consumer receives a transaction confirmation and account balance by text message. Since the BlingTag does not store any personal information, it offers more security than traditional plastic cards and reduces the risk of identity theft and fraud.
“We chose Bling Nation because they offer a win-win-win product—banks and merchants win by reducing costs, consumers win by accumulating rewards each time they use their BlingTags, and community wins when more money is spent locally,” said Martin Bell, executive vice president of Guaranty Bond Bank. “We are extremely pleased with the growth and high customer acceptance of Bling Nation as well as the positive feedback from our business customers.”
Melissa Goolsby, owner of 8-Twenty One, a family owned retail-clothing store in Mt. Pleasant, established a customer loyalty system with the support of Bling Nation’s mobile payment technology.
“BlingTags are incredibly convenient for my shoppers and give them the wonderful opportunity to receive cash back,” said Goolsby. “And as a retailer, I have the opportunity to save on interchange fees and promote a new customer rewards program.”
Instead of viewing mobile payments as a competitive or exclusive product, Goates and Bell both saw an opportunity to increase acceptance by offering their customers the same mobile payments product.