Told you so. Today Foursquare and Starbucks are offering $1 off a Frappucino. Merchants are becoming increasingly comfortable with this type of model and obviously Foursquare wants to see these types of offers grow.
One of the interesting questions I’ve been looking into is, can automatically integrating foursquare status into credit card transactions add value to consumers and merchants? Mobile coupons, the likes of which announced today, are certainly useful and I expect to see many more in the near future. Direct integration, however, offers a simpler user experience than coupons where users need to present their device to the cashier. It also allows merchants to identify not only mayors but also other customers who have promoted their establishments on foursquare and offer them highly relevant, personalized rewards and promotions. Lastly, direct integration with CC transactions offers ways for merchants and CC companies to blend reward programs (merchant loyalty programs and CC points programs) to give consumers more choice in their rewards and create opportunities for cross-promotion.